Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dallas-Collin Continuum of Care Enters Final and Critical Stages in Adopting Pieces Iris™ as its Single Homeless Management Information System

The Dallas-Collin Continuum of Care (CoC) manages the community’s response to the experience and risk of homelessness. One of its most important roles in this capacity is to operate a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to collect critical data and drive improvement in homeless services. In its CoC Strategic Work Plan – Building an Effective Homeless Response System, the CoC sets as of its most important goals the development of a single HMIS system, into which all homeless service providers, including shelters and outreach street teams, would consistently enter their data. After all, we, as a community, can’t know anything meaningful about the true nature of homelessness if we don’t have unsheltered and emergency sheltered data in one data collection system.

As the CoC leadership surveyed the landscape, one obvious partner stood out in the need to take its HMIS to the next level, PCCI, a non-profit born out of the Parkland Health and Hospital System. PCCI founded DallasPCCI Information Exchange Portal (IEP). It describes this initiative on its website as follows:

Different providers in the healthcare system and across community-based organizations have limited means of communication, causing vital patient information to slip through the cracks, information that is essential to providing excellent healthcare or even saving a life. The Dallas Information Exchange Portal (IEP) will create a secure seamless system that connects healthcare and community-based organizations in the Dallas region, allowing for smart sharing of information that makes a tangible difference in the lives of first thousands but, ultimately, we hope millions of people.

Integrating information from social and healthcare organizations will provide quality and safe healthcare for the broadest range of citizens in our community. The IEP will provide a higher, more consistent level of healthcare to all members of the community, especially the most vulnerable populations, resulting in more efficient, cost-effective use of resources and, most importantly, lives saved.

Ruben Amarasingham
PCCI President and CEO
PCCI built their Pieces Iris™ software solution to HMIS specifications, and they knew they needed the CoC for the system to truly work. The CoC recognized that Pieces Iris™ is designed as a cut above all other HMIS systems in existence today. It represents the only known effort of building a new HMIS, case management, coordinated access and resource inventory on a new platform. PCCI’s Dallas IEP and the CoC see this as a symbiotic relationship. The Dallas IEP needs the cohort of persons experiencing homelessness within their integrated system as they represent some of the community’s highest risk and most costly patients. They need the homeless service providers’ network to extend the continuity of care for these patients. For the last few months PCCI and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), the CoC’s lead agency, have been working together on a process of discovery to figure out if such a partnership was feasible, and building out the system, per MDHA’s client specifications and preferences.

Significant progress has been made in the development of the HMIS template within the Pieces Iris™ software. MDHA’s HMIS team worked with the PCCI development team to combine the HMIS data collection and reporting system required of multiple federal and state funding authorities with enhanced interface, functionality and reporting innovations. All CoC stakeholders from leadership to end users have been reviewing the application in meetings and demonstrations, before the MDHA board considers a resolution to select Pieces Iris™ as the next single HMIS software solution for the community at its board meeting on November 12th.

As we enter the final and critical stage of this process, there remain three key events:
  • 10/30/15 – 9am-noon – Pieces Iris™ as HMIS Play Day Hands on demonstrations for end users on Pieces Iris™ software (PCCI Offices - 8435 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste 1150, Dallas)
  • 11/6/15 – 9-11am - Demonstration and Public Hearing of Pieces Iris™ as the new HMIS software solution (Center for Community Cooperation, Oak Corner Room, 2900 Live Oak St. , Dallas)
  • 11/12/15 – 9-11am – MDHA Board of Directors meeting - resolution to select Pieces Iris™ as the next single HMIS software solution for the community to be considered
Dr. Ruben Amarasingham, Founder, President and CEO of PCCI and the co-inventor of the Pieces IRIS™ software system will join us for the final two events. Amarasingham is a noted expert in the development and evaluation of health information technology, the application of informatics concepts in healthcare, and the use of innovative care models to reduce disparities, improve quality, and lower costs. The CoC leadership and MDHA Board of Directors and staff, as well as PCCI’s leadership, encourage community stakeholders to join us and participate in all three of these important events.

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