Developing an effective design for a healthcare database is a critical element that enables a healthcare institution to improve its workflow, social interaction, and technology in its operation. However, developing relational database is always associated with pitfalls during developers. There are those common aspects of database design that are being overlooked. Consequently, these pitfalls may harm the entire system (Peden, 2011). Therefore, the database developers should design a database with minimum errors possible. An effective healthcare database will enable the users to effectively examine the patients’ tests, results, history among other variables. Some of common aspects of database design that are overlooked include, naming practices, documentation, normalization, testing and exploitation of SQL facilities.
The developers of the healthcare design are regularly challenges by exercising naming practices while developing the database system. Choosing the correct names is one of the common aspects of database design that is overlooked and may result into extensive effect on future development and usability of the system. Poor naming standards in the database deteriorate the consistency of the workflow in the healthcare system. To avoid this, both column and table names should contain universal meaning and should be able to conform to the healthcare conventions. This will ensure that database will enhance consistency throughout the system. For instance, some of the naming conventions that might be used while recording patients’ data include PatientName and Patient_name.
Another aspect that is disregarded when developing a database design is documentation. Developing documentation for a healthcare database is considered as a vital process in enhancing and safeguarding future development. As a solution, documentation is created in various levels whereby some Database Management Systems are enabled to automatically develop documentation. The developers should create data model that contains definition for its columns, table and relationships. These simple values are significant when changes are needed to be done on the system. Therefore, the documentation should be effectively established to enhance the data retrieval and develop a channel for future changes of the database design.
Most database design developers are also prone to failure of normalization in their systems. Normalization is a process of evaluating and improving the established database design. Lack of normalization may results into redundant information and repetition that increases the operational cost, in terms of disk size and computation. To avoid this pitfall, various techniques are outlined, such as categorizing the database design features that may consist of data integrity. For instance, data items that can be recorded and stored in various spaces consist of data integrity (Stephens, 2010). Normalization in the developed database design will enable the user to identify anomalies in the system, and can anticipate design aspects that will affect the system when the data is updated, queried or inserted.
The database design developers are also prone to overlook the exploitation of the SQL Facilities. SQL is a facility that is capable of improving the success and usability of the developed healthcare database system. Stored integrity checks and procedures are examples of facilities that are usually ignored. However, these facilities are significantly applied in order to achieve the stability of the entire system. Since this processes are not necessity in the designing level of the project, the developers usually overlook them and my develop problems at later stage. To avoid this error, the developers should create tables that have natural key that is well interpreted by the users and can easily identify each row of the table (Peden, 2011). In addition, those integrity checks and procedures should be emphasized to ensure that the system is efficient to the related healthcare institution.
After developing a database design, developers regularly fails to carry out a test on the database design. Lack of testing a database design with realistic of real sample data may result to crucial problems in the entire database system. In most cases, relational database design is established from the conceptual level, applying modeling skills to deliver an effective design. The pitfall to this procedure is that in most cases the design is not accurately related to actual data (Stephens, 2010). Carrying out test, after developing a database design is therefore an important exercise because such pitfalls will be identified and mitigated. Without this test the whole system should be a hazard to the health of the patients since the workflow and inaccurate record could be done if the anticipated problem happens.
In conclusion, when developing a design for an effective database, these pitfalls should be keenly considered. Many software platforms can make routine the process or develop an alert system that notifies the user whether they are using inefficient design. It is meaningful to research all the requirements before establishing the database. This can reduce the chances of making changes that might be cumbersome and may result into a risk of data loss. The expansion and maintenance of hardware should also be put into consideration to enhance the usability of the developed system. Hardware should be regularly replaced or updated to conform to the emerging technology in the healthcare industry.
Ann H Peden, (2011). Comparative health information management. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning
Rod Stephens, (2010). Beginning Database Design Solution. New York: John Wiley & Sons