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Spring Cleaning to cleanup, improve performance and security

July 20, 2012

We are working on a project designed to cleanup, improve performance, and generally make the Maine HMIS ServicePoint a better place to work in.  The goal is to have the project completed in early Fall.

First Step – Cleanup:

Think of ServicePoint as an apartment we have been living in for eight years and never washed the walls, dusted the shelves, or took out the trash. It is time for a good “spring cleaning”.

We are identifying and “inactivating” incomplete client records and unused duplicate records. Quite a number of these records have accumulated over the years.

What do we mean by incomplete? These incomplete records are records which do not have an Entry / Exit into any program. Since most of our reporting is based on the Entry Date, these records are orphans who never show up on reports or get counted. It is clear that most of these orphan records are older records and probably represent mistakes.

Where there is enough information to raise questions about a record, we will be contacting the organization which created the record. We understand the older records may not be easily confirmed from agency records but we will attempt to get clarification on records where there are questions.

We are also, in this step, identifying records given an Entry into an agency “Corporate Office” or “Level 2” provider. Where the intended provider for the mistaken Entry is obvious, we will move the record to the correct location. Many of these records may also be duplicates or accidents. Again, while some may be obvious, many will not be and will require consulting with the agency to confirm where the Entry Record should have been.

Step Two – Improve and Standardize Security and Visibility:

ServicePoint has changed a lot over the years, mostly for the better. It has changed to improve security of data, allow for data sharing and generally improve the way things work. Older records in ServicePoint retain the older security settings that were used in ServicePoint when the record was created. Mostly that is not a problem but to assure that things work as they should going forward we will be asking ServicePoint to update all the existing records to conform to the latest security and privacy standards. This process should also allow us to clear up a few issues where new programs cannot always see data in other programs created by the same agency and fix some lingering visibility issues from prior to our update to SP5.  We expect this step to be accomplished in August but it may be a bit later than that.

Step Three – Identify and Merge duplicate records:

Once the above two steps are completed the final cleanup item is to identify those situations where a provider or agency has duplicate records that they can see and merge those records into one record. This will make searching for records much easier and more accurate.

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