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HCDM 21 posts Joined 05/10
04 Jun 2013
How to design next-generation data models

I read an article in Healthcare It News by Shahid Shah about Electronic Health Record (EHR) modeling.  Mr. Shah enumerated seven (7) design principles for next generation modeling.  Being the product manager of the Teradata Healthcare Logical Data Model (HC-LDM) I wanted to see how our product measured up to his design principles.  I evaluated the HC-LDM against each point.  I found good alignment with each principle.  Below is a link to Mr. Shah’s article, as well as a brief discussion of how the HC-LDM meets them.  I believe these principles apply to any healthcare logical model, and many apply to any logical data model.  The comparison has reinforced our confidence that the HC-LDM is built to endure because it integrates information while remaining flexible and extensible.

  1. We use a Party concept to identify people.  There is a single identifier for each Party and Party keys are “role named” to allow a Party to play numerous roles.  This facilitates full integration of information about a Party regardless of the role they played at any particular contact point.  When the Party is an individual (e.g. patient, employee, policy holder), the information is linked via the single Party Id to provide a complete picture of the person.
  2. The same design principle used for people is also applied to organizations.  An organization is a type of Party.  It may play multiple roles at multiple contact points.
  3. The use of a single Party Id does not preclude the person from using a role specific identifier at each contact point.  The numerous identifiers for a person are linked to the single Party Id through point of contact look-ups and de-duplication techniques.
  4. Protected Health Information (PHI) is integrated into our model and intended to be kept in the same database.  It is clearly enumerated in the model so physical database features can be employed to protect it.  PHI can be partitioned, privileged and encrypted to accomplish this.
  5. The Party and role aspect of the model mentioned in point 1 above allows a person to play a patient, a nurse, and an employee, all linked to a single Party Id.
  6. Long term storage was addressed in the model design.  Our model provides the ability to provide time variance with either of two methods.  Physical model entity/attributes are provided to facilitate our Global Control Framework (GCFR) process.  Alternately, the  “temporal” features of the Teradata database can be activated to provide time variant tracking of tables
  7. Mr. Shah refers to tracking the application and device which caused an update to a row.  The GCFR processes combined with attributes in the model provide that ability.  The HC-LDM is also designed with the expectation of multiple source systems.  We design to meet business requirements rather than designing to hold a set of information available from any particular set of source systems.  This provides our customer the ability to look beyond the systems in place today and build solutions that will serve for multiple and numerous future source systems.
Lee Arnett Senior Product Manager – Healthcare Data Modeling Monument, CO 719-351-0766
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