Thyme CDS is available now! Email: Thymecds@thepcl.net
Thyme CDS (Thyme) is a “comparable database system” developed by The Partnership Center, Ltd. (PCL) specifically for victim service providers. It is configured to collect information required for: HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), as well as DOJ’s Violence Against Women Act (VAWA-STOP), Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), and the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA). Thyme meets all requirements as a comparable database for the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) as required by HUD and generates the reports in an accurate CSV format as specified by HUD. Thyme also enables case workers/advocates to record client activity and case plans and includes tools to support their work. Each Agency who licenses Thyme receives not only the Thyme CDS software, but custom set-up, training, on-going support, and a customized secure Microsoft Azure server and Microsoft software package.
Read more about the specifics of Thyme:
- Security is Key
- Projects Supported in Thyme
- User Access, Levels and Support
- Reports Available
- Agency Requirements
If you are interested in learning more about Thyme CDS or seeing a demonstration, complete this form.
Security is Key
The Thyme system is designed to be fully compliant with the Violence Against Women Act requirements via a highly secure web-based system. Each Victim Service Provider agency has a separate, private, and secure instance of the software stored in its own fully encrypted server provided through Microsoft’s Azure. Data stored in Thyme is never shared with anyone outside the agency and the agency holds the only access keys. PCL was assisted in the design and development of the privacy and security function on hardware and software by both legal and technical experts, along with other privacy/security resource partners from across the country.
In partnership with Microsoft’s Technology for Social Impact project and their longstanding commitment to non-profits, secure servers through Azure cloud solutions are provided at no or low cost to qualified non-profits using Thyme. Each agency’s Azure Virtual Server contains their preconfigured instance of the Thyme database system within a fully encrypted tower, which enables data security and encryption of data both at rest and in transit. PCL’s Thyme Manager assists agencies with the non-profit certification process, through Microsoft, to leverage $3,500 in annual credits. These credits cover the cost of the agency’s server. Along with the credits, Microsoft also provides $1,500 of Azure Active Directory Premium, which includes Office 365, email, and Multi Factor Authentication to support the agency’s overall security and productivity.
An additional partnership with Sightline Security provides agencies an opportunity to assess, prioritize, and improve their cybersecurity agency-wide.
Projects Supported in Thyme
Thyme supports data collection for the following types of projects:
- Emergency Shelter
- Rapid Re-Housing
- Permanent Supportive Housing
- HUD specific Service Only Projects
- Other Service Projects
- Street Outreach
- A hotline project is also under development
Thyme is built using a “project-based model” which enables clients to be entered and exited seamlessly from one project to another, supporting accurate information on outcomes obtained by clients in each project. Thyme’s simple and user-friendly wizards guide users through various stages, including project intake, annual assessment and exit, to support collection of required information at the right stage without workers struggling to figure out what to complete. Thyme wizards are always maintained to HMIS Data Standard requirements.
Thyme also identifies which of the agency’s federal funding programs require the collection of each data element through a colored star system, so there is no question when data is required for reporting.
Thyme was designed not only as a database to store information needed by funders, but is complete with tools designed, tested, and used by advocates and case managers to develop case plans, conduct client housing checklists, support budgeting, messaging, and encounter note taking.
User Access, Levels, and Support
Thyme is accessible to users through a secure website available only to the approved users of Thyme at the Agency. Access is password protected and PIN enabled. Each agency may have as many users as require access. There is no “per-user” fee. Thyme supports the theory that privacy and security should not be compromised by persons sharing passwords and does not make it cost prohibitive for agencies to enroll all persons who need access to Thyme with their own password and logon credentials.
Thyme supports a variety of user levels from supervisor to read-only. Each user has their own user level, by project. These user levels enable and/or restrict access (reading and writing) to client data in different projects of the organization, so only those persons in the “circle of knowledge” regarding the victim have access to data. User levels are set by the agency and may be changed as needed if workers change positions within the agency.
Project partnerships enable client information to be viewed across projects, or restricted, depending on the agency’s needs and client confidentiality. For example, a transitional housing project may have a data sharing relationship with the emergency shelter so the transitional housing workers can build on the work already provided in the shelter. That same transitional housing project, however, may elect not to have a data sharing relationship with a companion services only project because the need to know the information collected there is not relevant to their work with the client.
A variety of user training experiences are provided as part of the initial set-up process for Thyme. A start-up video conference training is included in the set-up fees to provide agency-specific and project-specific training for users. Thyme guidebooks, tip sheets, and video training are also available and are updated regularly. Ongoing training is also available for agency users at nominal fees including new user orientation, understanding reporting, train-the-trainer, advance data reporting, etc. On-site training is available when multiple organizations in one area/region or state elect to use Thyme for an additional fee.
Thyme supports the Agency’s ability to accurately report on the clients it serves and the outcomes achieved. Thyme generates accurate reporting for all HUD Continuum of Care and Emergency Shelter Grant programs critical for maintaining funding and measuring performance.
PCL programmers have extensive experience in HUD’s Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grant program and HMIS reporting. Reports include the required HUD CSV reporting output, updated as required and free of charge, as well as on-screen viewable, printable, and detailed versions of the reports. Reporting for VOCA, VAWA STOP grant, and FVPSA are also standard in the system. Other VAWA grants will be added soon.
Thyme also comes complete with a plethora of standard reports needed by an agency for program and agency management. Reports range from active client lists, to client level demographic reporting, to data quality reports. Custom reports can be ordered in addition to the standard reports and may be programmed for a single agency’s use or a statewide or regional reporting need. Charges for custom reports are based on the size and complexity of the report and are quoted on a “not-to-exceed” cost, so the agency always knows the maximum fee for any order.
Additionally, Thyme supports the ability to generate custom reports through a special reporting tool called FLEXO. On-line training classes enable users to learn how to use the FLEXO reporting system and receive certification that they were trained and “passed” the course.
Agencies are required to use the Microsoft Azure server as configured by PCL specifically for Thyme. PCL assists the non-profit agency in securing a renewable Microsoft Credit, so in most instances Azure is completely free of charge. Agencies must be willing to work with PCL to obtain the credit and then order the server in their name.
Agencies need to set aside dedicated time to work with PCL’s Thyme Manager and Metadata Specialist to provide information about each project they want included in Thyme. Agency preparedness and participation in the project set-up will ensure all the data the agency needs will be configured correctly in their Thyme system.
Agencies must identify at least one Thyme Specialist, to be trained to manage the administration portion of Thyme for the agency, once it is deployed to their server. This is the only person with access to the server and is responsible for accepting Thyme updates in the server. The Thyme Specialist is able to add/delete users, set user levels, update option lists for case manager names, county names, and grants used. They can also post system messages and review data entry errors across the agency. The Thyme Specialist will have the ability to customize data collection in Thyme to include fields which the agency requires for their own internal data collection needs or the requirement of other funders.
If you are interested in learning more about Thyme CDS or seeing a demonstration complete this form.
Add-on’s –requested and ordered by the Agency with an active Thyme CDS License
- Custom Report Design, Development, Programming – billed for actual hours, quoted on a not to exceed cost basis.
- Additional project set up, configuration, and installation in the server – additional flat fee for the addition of a standard project type addition.
- Limited Server support – billed for actual hours. May be used to train a new Thyme Specialist to access the server, provide information to an IT specialist of the agency with information, discuss the ability to customize and/or expand the server capacity.
- Additional user training – per person per class based on fees published on the PCL website for the specific course.
- Specialized Thyme Classes
- FLEXO Training – training for any additional staff (over the two seats provided in set-up) for the FLEXO course.
- Training of a new or additional Thyme Specialist after set-up – per person, flat rate.
- Phone support after the agency exceeds their 10 hours annually – per hour billed in quarter hours.
If you are interested in learning more about Thyme CDS or seeing a demonstration, complete this form.