Homeless Missourians Information System (HMIS) Privacy and Security Notice

Download Printable Copy of HMIS Privacy Policy
 

I. PURPOSE

This notice describes the privacy policy of this agency. The policy may be amended at any time. We may use or disclose your information to provide you with services, and to comply with legal and other obligations. We assume that, by requesting services from our agency, you agree to allow us to collect information and to use or disclose it as described in this notice and as otherwise required by law.
 
The Homeless Missourians Information System (HMIS) was developed to meet a data collection requirement made by the United States Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Congress passed this requirement in order to get a more accurate count of individuals who are homeless and to identify the need for and use of different services by those individuals and families. We are collecting statistical information on those who use our services and report this information to a central data collection system.
 
In addition, many agencies in this area use HMIS to keep computerized case records. This information may be provided to other HMIS participating agencies. The information you may agree to allow us to collect and share includes: basic identifying demographic data, such as name, address, phone number and birth date; the nature of your situation and the services and referrals you receive from this agency. This information is known as your Protected Personal Information or PPI. All agencies using the HMIS share their data with other participating agencies, with the exception of Blind Service Providers. These blind agencies serve specific protected client populations, such as domestic abuse, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, alcohol and/or substance abuse, and mental health, and do not share client information.
 
GENERALLY, all personal information we maintain is covered by this policy. Generally, your personal information will only be used by this agency and other agencies to which you are referred for services.
 
Information shared with other HMIS agencies helps us to better serve our clients, to coordinate client services, and to better understand the number of individuals who need services from more than one agency. This may help us to meet your needs and the needs of others in our community by allowing us to develop new and more efficient programs. Sharing information can also help us to make referrals more easily and may reduce the amount of paperwork.
 
Maintaining the privacy and safety of those using our services is very important to us. Information gathered about you is personal and private. We collect information only when appropriate to provide services, manage our organization, or as required by law.
 

II. CONFIDENTIALITY RIGHTS

This agency has a confidential policy that has been approved by its Board of Directors. This policy follows all HUD confidentiality regulations that are applicable to this agency, including those covering programs that receive HUD funding for homeless services. Separate rules apply for HIPPA privacy and security regulations regarding medical records.
 
This agency will use and disclose personal information from HMIS only in the following circumstances:
 

 

III. YOUR INFORMATION RIGHTS

As a client receiving services at this agency, you have the following rights:
 

 

IV. HOW INFORMATION WILL BE KEPT SECURE

Protecting the safety and privacy of individuals receiving services and the confidentiality of their records is of paramount importance to us. Through training, policies, procedures and software, we have taken the following steps to make sure your information is kept safe and secure:
 

 

V. BENEFITS OF HMIS AND AGENCY INFORMATION SHARING

Information you provide us can play an important role in our ability and the ability of other agencies to continue to provide the services that you and others in the community are requesting.
 
Allowing us to share your name results in a more accurate count of individuals and the services they use. Obtaining an accurate count is important because it can help us and other agencies:
 

 

VI. COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER LAWS

This agency complies with all other federal, state and local laws regarding privacy rights. Consult with an attorney if you have questions regarding these rights.
 

VII. PRIVACY NOTICE AMENDMENTS

The policies covered under this Privacy Notice may be amended over time and those amendments may affect information obtained by the agency before the date of the change. All amendments to the Privacy Notice must be consistent with the requirements of the Federal Standards that protect the privacy of consumers and guide HMIS implementation and operation.
 

VIII. WEBSITE PRIVACY POLICIES

We maintain copies of all Privacy Notices on our website epworth.org.