Last year – with sponsorship from Robert Wood Johnson Foundations’ DASH program, and in partnership with the Regional Data Alliance at University of Missouri St Louis – I co-authored a whitepaper that aggregated research and recommendations from across the emerging field of “social care coordination.”
This paper provides a strategic framework in which to understand Open Referral’s work in the context of human service directory data infrastructure and governance, and it also offers a broader view of the related but very different challenges of sharing information about people through coordination among service providers.
The whitepaper is available in PDF here – as well as in this ‘live’ version upon which we invite readers to share feedback. Having received significant positive feedback from experts in the field of healthcare informatics, I’m excited to share it here with the Open Referral community.
The District of Columbia’s community of health, human, and social service providers are struggling with a familiar challenge: they want to be able to more effectively coordinate care among their patients and clients, yet their systems can’t currently ‘talk’ to each other.
In response to this issue, DC’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) initiated the DC Community Resource Information Exchange (DC CoRIE) to develop data infrastructure that supports coordinated screening, referral and tracking across a range of health, human, and social services in DC. DHCF selected the DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA) and Open Referral to lead an initial planning phase to help understand how to build infrastructure that would facilitate these functions. As part of this planning phase, we were tasked with the development of a Community Resource Inventory that can sustainably aggregate up-to-date information about the health, human, and social services available to DC residents. Continue reading
We are pleased to share our Year in Review report for 2018!
This was the Open Referral Initiative’s fifth year – and in several ways, 2018 stands as a culmination of all the work we’ve done to date. Continue reading
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.
AIRS is an international association of I&R service providers. Continue reading
In 2014, we formed a table and conducted research. In 2015, we initiated action. In 2016, we’ll put these ideas to the test, and learn from our work. Based on your feedback so far, here’s what that might look like…
(This note is far from a final word on the matter — please share your own feedback in our community forum and/or directly via email. Thanks for your insights!) Continue reading
A world in which information about community resources is easy for anyone to find, trust, and effectively use — in whatever way works best for them. This is Open Referral’s hopeful vision of the future.
In 2015, we saw the first glimmers of such a world. Let’s take a look: Continue reading
In late September I had the privilege to discuss our work at the Data for Good Exchange, a symposium hosted by Bloomberg.
As part of the event, I presented a paper which you can read here.
Much of the paper recaps the thinking and work behind the Open Referral initiative to date…. Then, taking into account some of the lessons we’ve learned over the past year, I editorialize a bit. Continue reading
Earlier this month, we published version 1.0 of the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS). Let’s take a deeper dive into it.
What is the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS)?
The HSDS is a format for data exchange, specifically designed to enable the publication of machine-readable data about health, human, and social services that are available to people in need.
HSDS is essentially an interlingua — in other words, it’s a common language that can be used by anyone to enable community resource directories to ’talk’ to each other.
Why did we develop the HSDS?
We believe that development of an open, standardized format is a necessary step in a process of reducing the costs of producing directory data, increasing the quality of such data, and promoting its re-use in valuable ways. Continue reading