Nightingale 1

Application: Planning a Database
We live in a world where technology is key to finding and utilizing information quickly. Healthcare has traditionally lagged behind the rest of the world in embracing technology. For this industry technology is important in the management of health information. Although paper-based solutions are still prevalent and work efficiently in some contexts they are limited in important functionality.
The healthcare industry as it recognizes the need for technology more frequently relies upon systems such as clinical and administrative information systems to manage and provide needed information. At the heart of these systems aredatabaseswhich are structured collections of data. Databases allow for the easy retrieval of stored data and the capability to efficiently manage large volumes of data. Since important health-related information is derived from data theelectronicstorage and easy retrieval of data can ultimately impact the quality of care and coordination of services.
Refer to the various case studies presented in this weeks readings showcasing how electronic health records and health technology (HITECH) are improving patient and community health. Now imagine your own health scenario in which a database could be used to improve the quality of care and the coordination of healthcare and services.
eHealth Initiative. (2011).Health Information Exchange: From meaningful use to personalized health. Oracle Health Sciences. Retrieved from:
AHIMA e-HIM Workgroup on HIM in Health Information Exchange. (2007). HIM Principles in Health Information Exchange.Journal of AHIMA78(8). Retrieved from
Wilkins M. A. (2009). Factors influencing acceptance of electronic health records in hospitals.Perspectives in Health Information Management (Fall 2009) 120.
Blumenthal D. (2009). Stimulating the adoption of health information technology.New England Journal of Medicine 360(15)1477-1479.
The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (2008).Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms(Report to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology April 28 2008). Retrieved from U.S. National Library of Medicine website:
Optional Resources
Brown S. H. Fischetti L. F. Graham G. et al. (2007). Use of electronic health records in disaster response: The experience of department of veterans affairs after Hurricane Katrina.American Journal of Public Health 97(S1) 1361 41.
National eHealth Collaborative. (2010 February 22). NHIN 101: An introduction to the nationwide health information network. Retrieved from
The eHealth Initiative is an organization that provides advocacy and resources for health information exchanges.
The HealthVault is a product developed by Microsoft that allows people to consolidate their personal health information online.
The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.
This media provides a simple example of how an effective relational database can be designed. The example shows the relationships between each element in the sample database.
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