Health Care Database Systems in Practice

Although we live in a world completely revolutionized by information, it is important to remember that it is knowledge we are seeking, not information.

—Margaret Wheatley

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Every day, nurses and other health care practitioners are challenged with managing large quantities of data and information. Unless this data and information can be translated into knowledge, it will have little meaningful value. Databases and data management techniques, if designed effectively, present health care organizations with the means to quickly and effectively transform data into useful knowledge. The ability to rapidly and accurately transform data into useable knowledge allows health care practitioners to make informed decisions on patient care.

In this Discussion, you consider the types of data stored in a database system. You also examine how this information is used in nursing practice, and reflect on the benefits and challenges of using health care database systems and data.

To prepare:

  • Select a database system that you encounter at work or with which you are familiar. What data points are captured and used by nurses?
  • Consider the kind of data collected and the different elements of that data.
  • Ask yourself: How is information in this database used for nursing practice and patient care? What benefits does the database system provide? What are the challenges of using the system?

Post: A minimum of 550 words with 3 references in APA format

1) A description of the system you selected and the types of data that are stored in the system.

2) Explain how this database and the data is used for nursing practice and patient care.

3) Evaluate the benefits and challenges of using the database system and the data.

Required Resources


  • Coronel, C. & Morris, S. (2015). Database systems: Design, implementation, and management (11th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
    • Chapter 1, “Database Systems” (pp. 4–32)

      This chapter defines data and database systems. It also introduces various terminologies and descriptions regarding database functions.
    • Chapter 9, Sections 9.1–9.3, “Database Design” (pp. 412–431)

      This section of Chapter 9 focuses on the importance of thoughtful database design. Regardless of the quality of the data, if it is not easily accessed, it is of little value.
  • Schraml, T. (2011). Success is an attitude. Database Trends & Applications, 25(3), 28.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This article highlights the importance of consistency and standardization when developing a database design. It also identifies circumstances where deviations from certain guiding principles may be necessary.
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