Health care database systems refer to a collection of databases that store health data and related information for easy access and retrieval (Zielinski & Ingram, 2004). The increased use of information systems in the health care sector has necessitated the development of management systems to manage medical information. For instance, data management is important for the proper evaluation of functions such as clinical trials, drug administration, patient history, and disease eruptions. Healthcares database systems have facilitated the shift from paper to electronic records that are more secure, more efficient, and less prone to errors (Zielinski & Ingram, 2004). The health care industry has several types of databases depending on the roles of its various divisions. For instance, hospitals have databases for their various divisions that include the Human Resource, finance, research and development, ADT tracking, lab system, procurement, and administration.
Databases are used in various ways across the healthcare industry. First, they are used to improve the speed and efficiency of making the numerous transactions carried out every day (Zielinski & Ingram, 2004). For instance, they facilitate the speedy execution of financial transactions, transmission of lab results, dissemination of patient medical information, and registration of patients. Second, databases are used to store important research and patient information that is used during diagnosis and treatment processes (Cardon, 2013). Third, they are used to store health information that patients and interested individuals can retrieve and use to improve their health. This information comprises ways of improving health, diseases and their causes, management and control of diseases, and recommended diets. Fourth, databases are used to predict medical trends by providing critical information on various health issues (Cardon, 2013). For instance, online search engines are used to access and retrieve up-to-date information from the databases of hospitals and health organizations.
Server systems are divided into two main systems that include transaction servers and data servers (Zielinski & Ingram, 2004). Transaction serves are commonly used in relational database systems that provide answers to queries by clients. Requests are sent to the server, executed, and the feedback is sent back to the client. The relational model of database architecture involves the organization of data into tables that comprise rows and columns. They use structured query Language (SQL) for the maintenance and retrieval of answers to queries received by the database. The hierarchical database architecture involves the organization of data into tree-like structures. Data is integrated into records that are connected through links that facilitate their retrieval. Each record represents a specific field and the type of entity defines the field into which a record belongs. Ina hierarchical database, a record corresponds to a row in the relational database (Zielinski & Ingram, 2004). On the other hand, an entity corresponds to a table. The file sharing architecture involves the organization of data in personal computers that are connected to a local area network. The distributed database architecture involves the storage of data in multiple systems that run on multiple serves, which are linked through a network. Object-oriented architecture involves the organization of data through its representation using distinct objects that apply its structure and functions.
Database users across the health care continuum have several needs that include speedy retrieval of information, access to reliable information, user-friendly interfaces, and security protocols (Zielinski & Ingram, 2004). Database users need to get access to reliable information that is error-free and up-to-date. In addition, they need to receive answer to their queries in a speedy manner. Security and privacy is another need of database users. For instance, users need to know that information such as health records are secure and can be accessed by authorised people only.
Cardon, D. (2013). Understanding the Healthcare Database: Purposes, Strengths, and Weaknesses. Web.
Zielinski, K., & Ingram, D. (2004). Transformation of Healthcare with Information Technologies. New York, NY: IOS Press.