PSH Data Workgroup – Summary of Activities and Goals
June 8, 2020
Six permanent supportive housing (PSH) providers have been meeting since 2018 to determine what healthcare service models work best for particular populations of people formerly impacted by homelessness. After reviewing the data and conferring with several experts, including the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Center for Housing and Health, the workgroup agreed to pilot a data collection project that would help to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their different healthcare service models.
The workgroup identified three goals that represented a successful healthcare service model:
- housing retention,
- linkage with non-urgent/outpatient care, and
- enrollment in public benefits.
Next, the workgroup determined which services commonly provided by PSH providers helped to achieve each of the goals. HMIS is an extensive database that lists many services that can be used interchangeably. Knowing that the data entered by the workgroup agencies had to be comparable, the workgroup worked with All Chicago and the Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County (the Alliance) to identify common definitions (AIRS Terms) and HMIS codes for each service. This allows all of the participating PSH providers to enter data consistently into HMIS.
All Chicago and the Alliance coordinated webinars for all HMIS users at the participating PSH providers. The webinar is below and the list of HMIS AIRS terms, codes and training notes/definitions can be found at the bottom of the article.
Current Status – June, 2020
The pilot data collection project is currently in its third quarter. Several glitches have been worked through and it is hoped that data entry and analysis will be running smoothly by the end of the first year. In the meantime the workgroup is comparing the various components of the healthcare service models operating at each agency and defining the unique populations each serves. Eventually, the workgroup will compare:
- How well each agency achieved each of the three goals based on client outcomes (housing retention, linkage with non-urgent/outpatient care, and enrollment in public benefits);
- Which agencies (which model(s) of healthcare provision) use the services that lead to successful client outcomes;
- What services best support which clients (single men, single women, families) to achieve the goals.
The workgroup plans to share its progress with the larger sector within the year. In the meantime, questions can be forwarded to Kathy Booton Wilson, Chief Strategy Officer, Deborah’s Place at