Mental Health Data Standards
The Moral Problem
Holding client data hostage prevents therapists from switching to more suitable booking systems.
Dreading the Hassle
Incompatible data formats require therapists to import data manually to their desired booking system.
Importing incompatible data can result in reduced searchability and operability.
… 1 Stone: Consistency
A crucial component of inter-operability is object definitions. For example, how does one define a booking vs a cancellation? Are they both appointments with different properties or are they distinct entities?
Even with identical object definitions, there are many ways in which their respective data can be structured. Which attributes deserve their own field and which ones can be relegated to a generic “notes” field?
Even with identical objects and structures, there are many ways to export data and some are more suitable for developers while others are more suitable for therapists. Is it reasonable to expect therapists to learn the ins and outs of API integration for a one-time transfer?
Software technology is one of the fastest-changing landscapes in the Digital Age. The onus is on developers to keep up. By extension, the standards that developers adhere to must evolve and adapt to the challenges that arise in a timely and reliable manner.
MHDS serves a similar purpose to electrical outlets’ standards.