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CAISI Project Background

The project includes: 1) The development of the open source system software. 2) Building community and agency capacity in using the system to integrate care between agencies.

Introduction to CAISI

The Toronto Client Access to Integrated Services and Information (CAISI) Project aims to reduce the plight of chronic homelessness by enhancing the integration of care between agencies at the individual and population levels using an electronic information system. The project includes:


1) The development of the open source system software.

2) Building community and agency capacity in using the system to integrate care between agencies.

At the individual level, the project includes the rapid assessment of clients, referral to appropriate shelters and agencies, managing waiting lists into services, support multi-agency case management ultimately leading to client placement into appropriate housing or community placement.

At the population level, the project enhances the ability of the community to gather data that can be used by activists and decision makers to help effect positive social change leading to the end of chronic homelessness. That is, advocate for more affordable and supportive housing and more appropriate facilities (e.g. client centred harm reduction long term care programs) for clients the community currently finds difficulty caring for.

The system is client centered, clients give access to agencies to enhance the integration of care they receive. Clients are helping inform how the system will function. The project is being developed by front line agencies to improve the care of their clients.

The software is an enhancement and expansion of the OSCAR McMaster system, an open source Ministry of Health approved electronic medical record. It includes integration with major community IT networks among agencies caring for those who are homeless. These include shelters, drop in centres, outreach teams, hospitals, public health and Toronto ambulance.

The approach is an 'open development' or 'just do it' approach with a release early and often philosophy. Users are co-developers who work with program developers and software programmers to make rapid improvements to the system on a real time basis. The software is open source meaning that it is owned by the community and can be freely downloaded and enhanced by anyone.

For a brief handout that summarizes the project, please see our CAISI two page summary: CAISI Summary Document


Development History

The Predecessor of the CAISI Project: SHIFE

The CAISI project is a second and larger part of an integration project between Seaton House and St. Michael's Hospital. This project was funded through the City of Toronto SCPI program ( and was titled Shelter Hospital Integration Fusion and Evaluation (SHIFE). The project was funded from 2002 to 2003. The following link provides the abstract summary of the SHIFE project final report as well as accompanying reports.

OSCAR McMaster

The CAISI Project uses the OSCAR McMaster system as its base IT management software. OSCAR is an Ontario Ministry of Health approved Electronic Medical Record (EMR). CAISI modules have been built for this product to support the needs of people who serve those who are homeless. Please visit the OSCAR site for more details: OSCAR McMaster (

General Public License

All software for the project is governed by the GNU General Public License ( (GPL).

The GPL restricts any person or party from selling or giving away the program or any of its components, and all its elements can be freely redistributed by any user, party, jurisdiction or agency. The GPL allows modifications or derivations of the program or any of its components under the same terms as the license of the program and its elements. CAISI Charter

To view the full Toronto CAISI Project Charter click on the link: Toronto CAISI Project Charter

CAISI Business Case

To view parts of the CAISI Business Case click on the link: CAISI Business Case     TO ADD

Funding Past Funding: SCPI

The CAISI project has received funding from the City of Toronto SCPI program ( The funding is in the amount of $700,000 to be used over a two year period from March 2005 to March 2007.

Funded (Proponent) Organization: St. Michael's Hospital St. Michael's Hospital Principal Investigator (Organization Proponent): Tomislav Svoboda SCPI Funding managers: Trish Keachie

Original detailed application: The original application was for $1.7 million over two years (ending March 31 2006. Here is the original application for this funding: Original CAISI SCPI Application. Full funding was not possible and the processing of program applications was delayed by a year. For these reasons, partial funding was offered for a scaled down project.

Final CAISI Project Application: The original CAISI application was scaled down into a project with a narrower scope. This approved application Final approved SCPI CAISI application and Workplan August 23 2005 CAISI Workplan detail the projected goals, tasks and outputs of funded activities.

The final approved application was for a funding period of March 31 2005 to March 31 2006. The federal SCPI program approved a request to extend the term of the project with no change in funding in July 2005. This allowed the project timelines to extend to March 31 2007. In many ways the project is evolving to deliver the same outputs as the original application. To achieve this, the project has been made very lean and relies heavily on community participation, volunteers and a lean project team and lean staffing and the open development approach.

The SCPI program required funded projects to provide interim reports of project progress:

  • October 31 2005 SCPI Interim Report
  • March 31 2006 SCPI Interim Report
  • SCPI Update Sept 13 2006
  • October 31 2006 SCPI Interim Report

Getting Involved With The CAISI Project

Anyone can get involved in the CAISI project, whether as a staff member, IT developer, client, agency, or more.  For details on how you can get involved with CAISI, see How To Get Involved With The CAISI Project.

CAISI Demonstration Site

To view and review a current version of the CAISI - OSCAR IT system go to:

username: caisi

password: Caisi1234

PIN: 1234

CAISI User Guides General guides

A quick and dirty guide / manual for all agency staff members and CAISI users: Caisi Step by Step Users Guide V.9.0.doc


Administrators can learn how to create accounts for their staff members by following the following guide: Caisi Admin Guide 5.0.doc


Personal tools

You can create an account or log in CAISI sites at:


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