Electronic health records (EHR) can be powerful tools for nurses and other healthcare practitioners. But the true value of a database lies in its ability to successfully store, organize, and retrieve data—all factors of the database’s design. Without a strong design, a database is susceptible to issues in all three of these success factors. For example, data values not defined properly can lead to data entry errors and significant quality issues with retrieved data. Hence the effort invested in planning and designing a database can be as important as the investment in the technology.
This week, you analyze the principles of database design. You propose lists that can be used to develop effective database tables, and you also analyze benefits of converting paper records to electronic records.
Discussion: Envisioning a Database Design
As you report to work each day at your healthcare organization, you probably put little thought into the design of the facility. But you do expect the front doors to open and the elevator to work properly. So, while you may not routinely focus on floorplans, dimensions, or other blueprint items, you do assign a great deal of value to functionality. Consider how functionality would suffer if your facility were not designed properly.
Without effective design, you may not have access to the resources that you need to deliver care.
Such is also the case with database design. You may seldom focus on the organization of data and design of the databases that you use. But if the design is incomplete or inappropriate, functionality and usefulness of the data will be at high risk. Worse yet, patient safety could be at high risk.
For this Discussion, you reflect on a selected scenario and consider the database design that you would employ in that scenario.
Select one of the scenarios from those that your Instructor has posted.
Review the Learning Resources.
Consider a database design that you might use to collect and/or convert the data to an electronic format.
Review the lists and tables throughout the assigned readings and model them for listing your tables.
Post a list of the tables including the fields (rows) that you would include in each table to convert the data from the scenario you selected into a database. Be specific. Explain the rationale for your decision and support your decision with citations from this week’s Learning Resources. Describe the benefits of converting the data from paper to electronic form and explain why. Be specific and provide examples.
You are working in risk management and need to track medication administration errors and adverse events for patients over a 6-month period. You are receiving information from the inpatient areas, outpatient clinics, and home health.