Databases and Medicine?{Comments Off on Databases and Medicine?}

by Caezar M

After the natural disaster known as “Hurricane Katrina” an effort was made to relieve the victims. This effort did not come in the form of monetary relief, food, supplies or shelter, however these were relief efforts as well. This specific effort came in the form of databases, but what use do hurricane survivors have of databases. What these databases provided was a comprehensive prescription history for the last three months prior to the hurricane making landfall. The linking of these databases offerd a single point of entry to doctors in relief tents who could then compile histories of patient prescriptions and aid in getting their prescriptions refilled. This service contained information for over 800K individuals affected by the hurricane. Even though this is just a test it is expected to be a success. Hopefully because of this test a move can be made toward making electronic healthcare a reality.


This article applies to the topic of the week because it shows the benefits of databases to everyone not just the business sector. I like this article because it shows the humanitarian aspect of IT and Data. not only is the compilation of data for analysis but it can be repurposed to help the same people it is about. I am sure that for everyone it would be a hastle to make a new patient history everytime you visit a new doctor. Filling out relatively the same forms over and over again is by definition redundent. If it was not for these records the survivors of Hurricane Katrina could not be served in the best possible way. the likely scenario would be for them to be re examined and re diagnosed in order to recieve their same prescription. For me it is no question that we should make the move towards digital medical records so that we can serve everyone in the best possible way no matter what physician they see.

This article tells me that we are getting on the right track to better helping the masses. As more new technology emerges we are better utilizing it to help everyone. new applications are better helping people get the attention they need when they need it. they are helping get critical data back to those who need it most in the most efficient fashion possible. these are advantages of databases, centralization of information that can be easily accessed in order to better serve those who the information is about. I do not believe that we have to be held back by the limitations of conventional methods of data sharing that we are used to, and they proved it with “Hurricane Katrina.”


Walker, Tracey. (October 2005). Database allows access to Rx records. Managed Healthcare Executive, v. 15 no. 10 , pg. 12. Sept 31, 2011.;hwwilsonid=U5SGCGJIQNVU3QA3DIKSFGGADUNGIIV0