Data Export

With a few exceptions, every service provider organization using HIFIS must sign a Data Provision Agreement. This means that every three months, a data export file will be sent to the National Homelessness Information System (NHIS) team through the HIFIS software. The exported data contains non-identifying client information, as well as information on stays, turnaways, contributing factors, and housing. All HIFIS exports, along with data received from non-HIFIS users, are merged into the NHIS database.

Did you know?
Data sharing is an important part of the NHIS. Ensuring the integrity of your data and exporting to the NHIS team on a regular basis provides the Homelessness Partnering Secretariat with information that contributes to a portrait of the homelessness issues across Canada. This can be analyzed and shared with policy makers and researchers, with the ultimate goal of maximizing the impact of interventions.

Automatic Exports

It is sometimes difficult for service providers to find the time to run data integrity checks and export their data to the NHIS team. This is why, in HIFIS 3.8, you can choose to have your exports sent automatically. When you register, you will be asked which Export Method you prefer – Automatic or Manual – in the Activation screen of Legal Matters. Choosing automatic means that at the end of every quarter, you will receive a reminder that your export will be sent to NHIS, you will be given 30 days to run any data integrity checks you wish and then your export will be sent – without you having to schedule time or worry about missing the deadline.

If you choose to send your exports manually, you will receive a reminder at the end of every quarter that your export is due in 30 days. When the 30 days are up, you will begin to receive daily reminders that the export is due. The ability to close the reminder screen will become increasingly delayed until you send the data.

How to Access the Data Export Tool

If you are exporting manually and would like to access the Data Export Tool without a reminder, select the Data Exchange button from the Administration Menu.

The following Screen will appear:

Data Exchange Window.

Note the three tabs:

The tools in this tab enable you to create and send export files with non-identifying information to the NHIS or to a Data Coordinator. Note that any data exchange agreements between a service provider organization and a data coordinator are the responsibility of the interested parties.

The functions in this tab enable service provider organizations to receive changes to the look-up values from the NHIS team or from a data coordinator. You can also receive standardized Custom Tables from a coordinator. This is to ensure consistency of data across organizations. The look-up values and custom tables you have created at your site, however, will not be affected by the Imports you receive.

The functions in this tab are used when working with the HIFIS Support Desk to solve an issue.

Step by Step: Exporting Data to the NHIS

  1. From the Administration menu, select Data Exchange.
  2. In the Export tab, select SP to National.
  3. The Table Content Previewer screen opens, displaying a preview of the data included in the export. In this screen, you will see exactly what the NHIS team will see when receiving your data export.
  4. The Table Content Previewer screen.

    Did you know?
    The Client ID is generated when the first and last names of a client are converted into an encrypted string of characters. This string of characters cannot be reversed to figure out the names. The Client ID provides an indicator that a client is unique, allowing analysts to get a clearer picture of the number of clients, but does not in any way identify a specific client.

  5. Select the Blue Check Mark button
  6. Once the export is complete, a box will appear to confirm that it was completed successfully. Select OK.

Learn How
Show me a demonstration about exporting data to the NHIS team.

Exporting data to the NHIS team

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