HMIS Data Use Request
King County DCHS may release de-identified data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to entities with an approved Data Use Request for purposes authorized by the HMIS Steering Committee. De-identified data refers to client-level data that has been made anonymous either by removal of all identifiers and/or all information that could be used to infer an individual or household’s identity. Identifiers include, but are not necessarily limited to: (1) name; (2) Social Security number; (3) date of birth; (4) address.
Each Data Use Request is specific to the individual project, and all projects require annual review. Requests for de-identified data will be granted only if the project cannot be complete with aggregate information, and the data requested are of a scale to not identify data.
King County DCHS and the HMIS Steering Committee conduct a detailed review of every request for access to de-identified data and makes a determination on a case by case basis. When possible, data requests will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, King County DCHS will have discretion on the order in which requests are filled.
REQUESTORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT THEIR REQUESTS WITH AS MUCH ADVANCE NOTICE AS POSSIBLE TO ALLOW TIME FOR REVIEW, EXECUTION OF RELATED CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS, AND DELIVERY OF DATA.
If the Data Use Request is approved by the HMIS Steering Committee then a Data Use Agreement will be executed between King County DCHS and the Organization / Agency requesting the data. Approved requests are held to the highest ethical standards and must agree to the stipulations detailed in the Data Use Agreement.
Prior to generating the data, King County DCHS will provide an estimate of the costs incurred in its preparation. Data requests that take two or fewer hours of total staff time to prepare will be free to the Requestor. For data requests that take more than two hours, staff time in excess of the first two hours will be charged at $100/hour, with a 3-hour minimum. The two-hour time limit is per calendar year and is specific to the organization. Requestors from the same organization but who are clearly working on different projects will be treated as separate Requestors. Once the request is approved, a Data Use Agreement is executed, and payment received, the data will be provided.
Human Services departments in local jurisdictions in Washington State, the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services, other King County government departments, and other public governmental agencies in King County, will be exempt from fees to cover the costs of routine data requests. This includes internal requests from other DCHS divisions. However, all other agencies and individuals will be covered by this policy.
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