We designed the Human Service Data Specifications (HSDS)to make it easy to share information about human services of any kind. But given the many nuanced differences across human service sectors – and states and countries and etc – it’s just not feasible to standardize every possible kind of information associated with any kind of service anywhere. So we didn’t try to do that!
Instead, HSDS standardizes the most common information elements that can be expected in virtually any service – which turns out to be a relatively small set of fields, especially when it comes to the core requirements. This ensures that HSDS is relatively practical to adopt; however, at the same time, we do want users to be able to share additional information that is important to their communities even if not specified in the core format. To strike this balance, we’ve encouraged adopters to develop extensions through which they could include information that HSDS does not specify.
Now, with the publication of the new and improved HSDS version 3.0, we’ve gone even farther in enabling users to customize the specification to meet their specific needs, while preserving interoperability across our diverse ecosystem.
HSDS 3.0 supports “Profiles” through which adopters can publish a formalized set of extensions, constraints, and enumerations that together amount to their own tailored version of the standard. Continue reading