Articulating a relational database design
To address one-to-many relationships, it is important to properly identify the primary and foreign keys in each table. For example, in a patient and medication database, the patient table would have a primary key of patient ID, while the medication table would have a foreign key of patient ID to establish the relationship between the two tables. Additionally, it is important to ensure that each table only contains data related to a specific entity. This helps to eliminate duplicate data and maintain data integrity.
Regarding data types, it is important to select appropriate data types for each field to ensure accurate data storage and retrieval. For example, a date field should have a date data type and a numeric field should have a numeric data type. Using inappropriate data types can result in poor data quality and difficulty in retrieving data.
To reduce the risk for poor data integrity and eliminate duplicate data, it is important to establish constraints such as unique constraints and referential integrity constraints. Unique constraints ensure that each record in a table is unique, while referential integrity constraints ensure that the data in each table is consistent and accurate.
In Lo et al.’s (2018) article, the authors discuss the importance of linking healthcare and social service databases to study child maltreatment and associated health problems. This highlights the need for well-designed relational databases to improve outcomes through knowledge sharing. By ensuring appropriate one-to-many relationships, selecting appropriate data types, and establishing constraints, databases can be designed to accurately capture and share data, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Harrington, J. (2016). Relational database design and implementation (4th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Lo, C. K.-M., Ho, F. K.-W., Chan, K. L., Wong, W. H.-S., Wong, R. S.-M., Chow, C.-B., … Ip, P. (2018). Linking healthcare and social service databases to study the epidemiology of child maltreatment and associated health problems: Hong Kong’s experience. The Journal of Pediatrics, 202, 291–299.e1.