NURS 6411:Week 1: Overview of Information and Database Management Systems Essay Assignment Paper

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NURS 6411:Week 1: Overview of Information and Database Management Systems Essay Assignment Paper

NURS 6411: Information and Knowledge Management | Week 1

Exactly what is the value of having a database management system in a health care organization?

Consider the Aurora Health Care System in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which has cared for over 1.2 million patients. According to Phil Loftus, the chief information officer with Aurora, “We are collecting 10 times as much data as we were 10 years ago.” Aurora currently stores over seven terabytes of data. Just one terabyte is equal to one trillion bytes! That is an incredible amount of data to be able to search and access. With all of the health-related data that exists, many health care organizations are exploring new ways to use this data to improve health outcomes and the quality of patient care. For example, “Aurora is using the data to look at effects of length of stay, complications and readmissions” (Groenfeldt, 2012).

As hospitals and other health care organizations seek to streamline and modernize access to health care information, the use of databases has provided the necessary vehicle. This week, you examine the use of databases in the health care field.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the use of database systems and data in nursing practice
  • Evaluate benefits and challenges of using health care database systems and data

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Coronel, C. & Morris, S. (2017). Database systems: Design, implementation, and management (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

  • Chapter 1, “Database Systems” (pp. 2-31)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. 439-457)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 & Applications25(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.

Microsoft. Virtual Academy (2013). Database fundamentals. Retrieved from

This website contains a series of lessons on database fundamentals. Topics covered include database design, database management, and database security.

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

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?

By Day 3

Post a description of the system you selected and the types of data that are stored in the system. Explain how this database and the data is used for nursing practice and patient care. Evaluate the benefits and challenges of using the database system and the data

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.

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