Care Services Discovery

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The Care Services Discovery (CSD) profile supports queries across related directories containing data about: organizations, facilities, services and providers. Queries against an optional “FreeBusy” service are also supported; this FreeBusy information would enable the development of a list of schedulable time slots for providers or services at specific facilities.

The CSD profile describes four actors and the transactions between them:

  1. Service Finder – the Service Finder actor submits queries to the Care Services InfoManager, who returns the requested result(s). Queries may be expressed as invocations of “stored” queries, or (optionally) as ad hoc queries using the flexible XQuery standard, or (optionally) as iCalendar vFREEBUSY queries.
  2. Care Services InfoManager – the InfoManager actor has two roles. The InfoManager maintains a local cache of content that represents cross-referenced data from one or more Care Services Directory actors. The InfoManager periodically refreshes this cache by querying Directory actors for updated content. The InfoManager’s other role is to process inbound queries from Service Finder actors. These queries are executed against the cached content.
  3. Care Services Directory – the Directory actor is responsible for returning an XML document in response to a refresh request from a Care Services InfoManager. The response document contains content which has been inserted or updated in the directory since the last refresh and is expressed in the format defined by the CSD profile’s XML schema.
  4. Service Availability – the Service Availability actor responds to requests for the “busy” time for a provider offering a service at a specified facility or for a service at a specified facility. This busy data may be employed to determine the free time slots which may be scheduled. The format of the request and response is defined by the IETF CalDAV specification (RFC 4791).


Because it maintains interlinked directory information, the CSD profile is able to respond to queries such as:

  • Which facilities are associated with which organizations?
  • What services are provided at specific facilities or, conversely, where are the facilitiesthat provide a specified service?
  • Who are the providers associated with a particular organization; what services do they provide; at which facilities do they provide these services, and when?
  • Within a specified date range, when are the schedulable time slots for the provider of a specific service?

The CSD profile’s loosely coupled design and flexible querying capability means it can be deployed within a number of eHealth architectures and support a wide array of care workflows.


The ability to query interrelated, federated, service directories supports important service discovery activities. This includes consumer-centric queries such as finding:

  • Where is the closest youth mental health services clinic?
  • When is the earliest time I could schedule an appointment with a physiotherapist near my workplace?.

In addition, crucial health system management workflows are supported. This can include reporting and analyses, such as:

  • What are my health human resource capacities, by facility, by cadre?,
  • What are all the services offered at this facility?
  • Where are all the facilities that offer this service?

Lastly, the CSD profile may be employed to support line-of-business queries such as:

  • What is the enterprise facility ID for this facility?
  • What is the encryption certificate and electronic endpoint for this provider?

The CSD profile may be employed to support, for example, the Provider Queries listed by the US Office of the National Coordinator as part of the Standards and Interoperability 615 Framework (


Profile Status: Trial Implementation


See Also

Related Profiles

  • Sharing Value Sets [SVS] may be used for sharing of code systems used such as for facility and provider types

Implementer Information

Reference Articles

This page is based on the Profile Overview Template

Current: IT Infrastructure Technical Framework.