Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

The bet­ter ques­tion to ask is what’s the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Depart­ment’s vi­sion for us­ing data (“Where does VistA, Vet­er­ans Af­fairs go from here?” Health IT Strate­gist, May 14)? The Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Util­ity Multi-Pro­gram­ming Sys­tem is use­ful as a front-end-trans­ac­tion sys­tem data­base. In health­care, there is a grow­ing de­mand for data-min­ing, ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics and busi­ness in­tel­li­gence ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

To think an on­line trans­ac­tion pro­cess­ing, or OLTP, data­base will en­able that ca­pa­bil­ity ef­fec­tively is wrong. There are re­la­tional data­bases on the mar­ket to­day that are built specif­i­cally for deep an­a­lyt­ics. VistA (us­ing its new or old MUMPS OLTP data­base) should be feed­ing data into a re­la­tional data­base for ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics. In fact, all of the VA’s front-end ap­pli­ca­tions should be feed­ing a re­la­tional data­base for cross-func­tional ad­vanced analy­ses, data-min­ing and busi­ness in­tel­li­gence.

Front-end ap­pli­ca­tions/tools are good for what they are de­signed for. How­ever, for thor­ough en­ter­prise re­port­ing and an­a­lyt­ics, ex­tract, load and trans­form tools along with a re­la­tional data­base should be used for deep an­a­lyt­ics, datamin­ing and or busi­ness in­tel­li­gence.

There­fore, again the bet­ter ques­tion to ask is: What does the VA want to do with all of its data? Dean Tor­res

Ter­a­data Corona, Calif.

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