When client data is collected in Clarity Human Services, it's collected using fields. There are fields that are created and maintained by Bitfocus and available to every customer, including fields for the HMIS Data Standards. Custom fields can also be created, allowing communities to track data specific to their local needs.
Fields are created and managed in Field Editor. When edited within Field Editor, changes apply to the field itself and, consequently, impact the appearance and functionality in any screen it's added to. Alternately, fields can be edited within screens. When edited within a screen, those changes will only impact the behavior of the field within that screen.
Types of Fields
There are 12 different types of fields in Clarity Human Services, each designed to collect specific types of data:
- Text: intended for short text strings (255 character maximum).
- Textbox: displays a larger area for collecting longer text strings, like notes and descriptions (65,535 characters maximum).
- Number: only integer responses will be accepted (maximum value of 4,294,967,295).
- Dollar: only accepts integers and will record '.00' at the end of recorded responses (maximum value of 99,999,999.99).
- Checkbox: creates a toggle button field.
- Date: collects integers in xx/xx/xxxx format (valid dates from '1000-01-01 00:00:00' to '9999-12-31 23:59:59').
- Phone: collects integers in xxx-xxx-xxxx format.
- Picklist: fields with drop-down menu options (maximum number of options is 1000).
- If the type "Picklist" is selected, an additional Picklist Type drop-down menu will display with the choices "Number" or "String." When creating picklist items, a code is assigned to each item that can either be numbers ("number") or letters ("string"). While these codes don't display in the user interface, they can be used for reporting. The picklist description cannot be more than 255 characters in length.
The following field types are only used for Bitfocus-created fields:
- Runtime Select: displays as "Picklist", with values generated from outside the field. There is one field of this type: the Program Setup Core field Site Primary Location, which generates the list of site options for a program from the agency's Site records.
- Multi-select: allows more than one selection to be made for a field.
- Runtime Multi-select: the same as "Multi-select", with values generated from outside the field. There is one field of this type: the Program Setup Core field Continuum of Care, which generates the list of CoC options from the Continuum of Care List system variable.
- Hierarchy-select: fields with a drop-down menu containing a hierarchical data list, organized in nesting levels. There is one field of this type: the Core field Continuum Project List, which generates a list of all programs in the system.
Accessing and Searching Fields in Field Editor
Note: only system administrators can access Field Editor.
To access Field Editor, navigate to the launchpad, and click Setup > Field Editor (figure 1).
To search for an existing field, begin typing the name of the field. As you type, field suggestions will be provided (figure 2).
You can narrow your search based on the field Table Type. These represent different categories of fields (figure 3). There are four Table Types:
- System: fields created by Bitfocus and used in the Clarity Human Services interface, rather than screens (e.g., Bed Types, Funding Source)
- Core: fields created by Bitfocus and used in screens for commonly collected data (e.g., HMIS Data Elements, VI-SPDAT questions)
- Custom: fields created and maintained locally by system administrators
- Live Markers: fields created by Bitfocus which reference information already present in the client record to create display constraints, calculations, eligibility requirements, and tracked characteristics
Field Editor search results include Field Name, Display Name, Field Type, and Table Type (figure 4). In Creating and Editing Fields, we'll look at how these and additional field components are defined.