As integration of healthcare and social care sectors becomes an ever-hotter topic, we’re excited to announce that we’ve taken a small but significant step forward: the Human Service Data Specifications are now aligned with the protocols for healthcare provider directory information specified by the Health Level Seven (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®).
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
UPDATE: As of May 1st 2023, this upgrade is considered official! Thanks to our workgroup and all those in the community who contributed input. Read below for details.
[This post is from Dan Smith, Open Data Services Cooperative‘s Partnerships Lead for Health, Social and Physical Activity Data. Welcome, Dan!]
We are excited to share a proposal for version 3.0 of the Human Service Data Specifications – available now for a final period of review and comment by our community.
We have been working toward this proposal for much of the past year, in a community-led process of gathering input about emerging and outstanding needs across our expanding network of human service informatics. … We are excited to share the fruits of this process with the broader community.
Request for Comment period for HSDS 3.0
This post marks the beginning of a final two-week Request for Comment period. During this time, our community can review and submit any final issues that may need to be addressed before HSDS 3.0 is formally approved by the working group.
We expect version 3.0 to be the last significant HSDS upgrade for a while, so if you have any questions or concerns about its suitability for your current or future potential use of HSDS, please raise them now.
How to provide feedback on HSDS 3.0
As Open Referral’s network grows – involving more stakeholders in the development of interoperable resource directory information supply chains – our tools and practices must evolve in kind to support more complex needs.
So we are excited to share that Open Referral has initiated a new development cycle to upgrade the Human Service Data Specifications. This cycle has kicked off with a specific objective to address a significant issue: our specifications need to be adapted across diverse contexts, to support different conventions in different places, while preserving a core of interoperability across our ecosystem.
To support this workgroup’s efforts, we are seeking feedback from a broad array of stakeholders across our network. For instance, this Friday (July 22nd) from 11a-1p, we will host an open “fishbowl” discussion in which workgroup members will review proposals line-by-line, at which any members of our community are welcome to observe and discuss by chat – invitations available by request. We encourage interested parties to comment on the documents above, or discuss in our issues queue on Github, or reach out directly via [email protected]
[Ed: This post is from Kin Lane, author of initial Human Service Data API protocols, and now Chief Evangelist at Postman, an API development platform. Welcome back, Kin!]
Now that the Open Referral Initiative has upgraded to version 2 of the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS), we’re commencing a subsequent upgrade to version 2 of our Human Service Data API protocols (HSDA).
We now invite members of the Open Referral community to contribute feedback – especially use cases, specific feature requests, and example OpenAPI definitions – that can shape the iteration of these API protocols and, in turn, facilitate the emergence of interoperable, reliable resource directory information infrastructure. Continue reading
We’re excited to share a proposed upgrade to the Human Services Data Specification, authored by our technical partners, the Open Data Services Cooperative.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll field feedback on these proposed changes. Take a look at the proposal in our Github repository – you can leave comments in the Issues queue – or on our documentation site, where you can also comment by first creating an account on hypothes.is (a website annotation service) and then sharing your feedback directly on the web pages.
Before the end of this month, we’ll conduct a video conference to review key points and discuss any outstanding issues (indicate your interest and availability here). Assuming we reach rough consensus, our target is to approve version 2.0 in the beginning October.
Below, we provide more context on the primary changes under consideration. Continue reading
We’re excited to introduce a set of tools that make it easier to standardize resource data.
Community resource directory data (i.e., information about health, human, and social services available to people in need) is deceptively complex. In order to accurately represent the relationships between organizations, the services they provide, and the locations they are offered, Open Referral’s Human Service Data Specification (HSDS) calls for multiple tables, linked together — which can be challenging to work with. HSDS addressed this challenge by calling for a set of CSV files to be bundled together by a ‘datapackage’ which would specify the tables’ contents and relationships in a single machine-readable file.
Few of the members of our community, however, were familiar with datapackages and how to create them. So we’ve now made it easier to facilitate this complex approach to resource data sharing!
Thanks to the Open Knowledge Foundation, which developed the standard format for JSON datapackages, we’ve now upgraded our specification and associated tools to make it easier to produce, share, and read standardized resource data in the HSDS format, datapackage and all. Continue reading
Today we welcome to the blog Mike Thacker of Porism Limited. Porism is a technical partner of the Local Government Association (LGA), a membership organisation of English local authorities, which owns the Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA). Porism works with iStandUK, a local government standards body that promotes efficiency, transformation, and transparency of local public services in the UK.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has commissioned discovery work on standards for local community-based services, which recommended alignment with Open Referral’s resource data exchange standards. Now, Porism is working with LGA and iStandUK to test and support extensions to Open Referral. This work includes commissioning an open-source “service finder” application – for which Porism is currently soliciting proposals.
This post is adapted from the original on Medium.
Most of us who’ve worked in or with the public and voluntary sectors will have come across a plethora of directories of services from registers of specialists kept by a department to more general lists of family services, sporting activities and advisers. The prevalence of such directories of overlapping content and variable quality is a testament to how far away we are from achieving an efficient means of getting accurate information. Now the Local Government Association (LGA) is piloting an approach to bring us closer to that goal. Here I summarise the approach being taken and provide some links for open data people who want to get more involved.
On behalf of the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), I am pleased to announce that the AIRS Board has moved to promote the adoption Open Referral’s Human Service Data Specification and API protocols as methods of establishing interoperability among resource databases and associated technologies.
Our aim is to create secure, controlled and affordable processes with which Information and Referral (I&R) organizations can securely share resource database records from their own software system with other systems — and Open Referral has demonstrated considerable success in helping this field move toward that goal.
Open Referral’s Human Service Data API protocols (HSDA v1.2) are ready for use!
Check out our documentation site here.
Use our live developer portal here.
Finally (for geeks and non-geeks): read the report on this phase of our development.
And read more about this exciting new chapter below: Continue reading