In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, began a 2-year effort to design, develop, and pilot a national reporting system based on data from state adult protective services (APS) agency information systems. The pilot effort addressed the Elder Justice Coordinating Council's recommendation to develop a national APS system based on standardized data collection and a core set of service provision standards and best practices. The goal of the future data collection system will be to provide consistent, accurate national data on the exploitation and abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities, as reported to state APS agencies.
The project was funded by Prevention and Public Health funds through an interagency agreement with the HHS Administration for Community Living. WRMA, Inc., a TriMetrix Company (WRMA), in collaboration with the National Adult Protective Services Association, the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine, and a number of nationally recognized experts, designed and piloted the future system under the oversight of a federal steering committee.
The project team conducted extensive outreach to gain an understanding of information needs. More than 40 state administrators, researchers, service providers, and other individuals in the field participated in stakeholder calls. Over 30 state representatives from 25 states participated in three in-person working sessions to discuss the uses of collected data and the key functionalities that should be included in a national system. The national system was named the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS).
Stakeholder meetings resulted in the general design of the data reporting system, conceptualized as three components:
Agency Component data, submitted by all agencies, on their policies and practices.
Case Component data on client characteristics, services, and perpetrator characteristics, provided by agencies that have report-level tracking systems.
Key Indicators Component data consisting of aggregated data on key statistics of investigations and victims, provided by agencies that do not have report-level tracking systems or are unable to provide case-level data.
No personally identifiable information was included. Reporting to NAMRS will be voluntary and on an annual basis.
From January through May 2015, nine states—Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts (Disabled Persons Protection Commission), Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Texas—participated in a pilot of the data system and submitted the Agency Component and either the Key Indicators Component or the Case Component data. During the NAMRS Pilot, the Agency Component and Key Indicators Component data were submitted using electronic data entry forms on the Internet. The Case Component data were submitted using extracts of data in XML format from state information systems. The reporting system was hosted in the Microsoft Azure Cloud environment. The website was an Azure Web App-hosted website. Both the NAMRS Pilot Database and the NAMRS Data Warehouse were SQL Server 2014 databases, operating on separate Azure Virtual Machines. Microsoft Azure, which is compliant with industry certifications, maintained data security.
Based on the pilot, the project team suggested clarifications and revisions to the data elements, data values, and data definitions. In addition, the team made recommendations regarding the activities needed to enhance and modify the pilot system into a fully implemented system to which all states and the territories would report their data on the maltreatment of vulnerable adults.
The full, final report is available in two (2) parts: