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.