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Data security and privacy

1. How secure is SHIP?

SHIP is a web-based system provided and hosted by Infoxchange Australia.

The Infoxchange website offers a secure web link for every session while it is being used by agencies. This secure connection protects the data and information within SHIP from being accessed or hacked by any external individual.

All SHIP infrastructure externally hosted by Infoxchange Australia will be maintained in a secure environment which meets or exceeds the Australian Government Protective Security Protocols. This includes:

  • a dedicated physical environment providing isolation of the systems
  • controlled physical access to these systems via passcode and pass card for authorised Infoxchange staff only
  • automated monitoring of system access and performance
  • automated monitoring and logging of intrusion attempts.

Read more detail about privacy and security of client information held in SHIP (96KB PDF).

2. Can AIHW or the Jurisdictions access our agency's database?

No, the AIHW nor the jurisdictions have access to individual databases at the agency level. AIHW will only have access to the extracts submitted by agencies through the Specialist Homelessness Online Reporting (SHOR) website, and these extracts only contain de-identified data.

User accounts and access to SHIP

3. How do I access SHIP?

All SHIP users  will have a unique username and password identifying the type and level of access to the system. All access to the system will be logged and monitored.

4. How do I get my user account for SHIP?

Initially states and territories will supply AIHW with a list of new agency IDs for the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection and one contact name for the agency. This contact person will be given an administration account for SHIP. The Administrator at the agency level will then create all agency level user account for the agency staff with the appropriate access levels.

5. What if we have our own client management system and are not using SHIP?

The same process for the administrator account above for agencies using SHIP will occur for agencies using their own client management system, and come initially from the state or territory file supplied to AIHW. The only difference is that an account will only be created for these agencies for the Specialist Homelessness Online Reporting (SHOR) website to submit their monthly data. A SHIP account is not required due to these agencies having their own client management system.

6. What access levels are there in SHIP?

There is a tiered system for accessing the data held within SHIP at the agency level. Each agency is unique, and has its own set of access levels set for all agency staff at each agency.

The 'administrator' role has access to create user accounts, reset passwords and delete accounts in the instances that agency staff have left the organisation, changed roles, are no longer using SHIP or there has been a need to terminate.

The ‘coordinator’ role in SHIP is for managers who can access any client records for the agency workers they have direct management responsibility for, as well as their own case load and clients.

The 'agency user' or worker has access only to the client records they have direct responsibility for, to work with their clients.

7. How are user accounts managed for the start of the new collection and beyond?

AIHW will work with Infoxchange to create reports that will match the agency ID with the users created in the system; this will allow us to know who has not registered and how many users there are at any given agency in your state. Any agencies that have not registered or created user accounts will be contacted and supported through this phase.

8. What happens to the data I have in SMART?

AIHW and Infoxchange will help agencies migrate limited client data from the SAAP Management and Reporting Tool (SMART) into SHIP for all clients that will have an open support period at 30 June 2011 and are expected to continue to have a support period into July 2011. However much of the data required for the SHS is new, so agencies will be required to enter the new data required from 1 July.

Agencies will be contacted directly with instructions on how this process will occur, what agencies will need to do and in what timeframe it needs to occur.

AIHW and Infoxchange will also work with agencies on how to export their historical data from SMART (that is, for previous closed support periods or other client files and information held within SMART), as a reference should it be needed in the future.

9. Can SMART still be used after 1 July 2011?

SMART will still be able to be accessed from an agency's computer after 1 July 2011, however it will not be able to report client information for the new Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection. SMART is created in Microsoft Access 97 which is no longer supported by Microsoft. There is a possibility that SMART will eventually not operate in the future. To retain access to your SMART data, some instructions are now available on how to run queries in SMART to transfer historical data to EXCEL for future reference. These instructions will also be useful when manually transferring data to SHIP.

How to access historical SMART data [89KB PDF]

User support for SHIP

10. Who do I call if I have a problem with SHIP?

The AIHW hotline (ph. 1800 627 191) and email () will support agencies for both the initial implementation of SHIP, and continuing the ongoing collection support for the new SHS monthly data collection.

11. What do I do if I need training in SHIP?

Agencies should be contacted by their state or territory department about the training options and dates for their agency in their state. If you have not been contacted to date, please make contact with your state representative as soon as possible to get these details.

An ongoing training program conducted by states and territories or the AIHW will be provided beyond the July I start date for the new collection and SHIP. Agency staff who have not been trained in the initial roll out will have the opportunity to be trained at a later date. Agency staff that join an agency in the future will also have the opportunity to attend training as part of the ongoing training program for both the SHS and SHIP to support staff turnover in the sector.

New features and benefits of SHIP

12. How will SHIP help me in my agency?

SHIP can be used by agencies as a case management system. This will allow agencies to collect all of the required information needed to meet their reporting requirements to AIHW, as well as case-manage clients for their agency.

SHIP will also:

  • help eliminate duplicate client records through its search functions
  • allow unlimited space for client case notes
  • track client journeys and outcomes
  • allow agencies to run standard and customised reports for their agency
  • allow information and relevant case notes to be copied from the Unit Head to other family members
  • allow documents to the size of 2MB each to be scanned an attached to a client record or case note
  • capture agency information for clients such as Medicare number, emergency payments and family relationships.

13. Will e-referral be a feature of SHIP?

SHIP will be implemented with a manual referral feature. This feature will allow agencies to set up standard referral letters, track referral types and report on the number of referrals. SHIP also allows documents or referrals to be scanned as documents (no larger than 2MB per document) and be attached to client files. SHIP has the capability in the future to become an e-referral product but this will not be implemented by July 1 2011.

14. What type of database is being used to store the data, e.g. Oracle, SQL server? 

A relational database called PostgreSQL will store the data.