Diagnoses, procedures, features, tags
The database can be viewed as a set of patients with features. You can think of features as of something similar to Flickr tags. A diagnosis, a procedure, an age group — are all nothing but features of the patient.
This unification can lead to creation of powerful database exploration method. Having form of a website, the data could be easily browsed (or
firefoxed?) by clicking on the diagnoses, procedures, age groups, etc.
Looking at single tags is interesting already. Looking at the combinations of tags is even more interesting. However, the number of possible tag combinations is enormous. There's need to restrict the set of tags, for example by number of patients that represent it.
Tags could be formed into a tree hierarchy. It's especially important for the nomenclature, as there are few diagnoses or procedures similar enough to be merged.
I don't want to conceal that the concept of the database exploration website is inspired by the existing websites like Flickr, Delicious, Last.fm and last but not least, WordPress. Ideas I'd like to borrow, are:
- Intensive interlinking
- Keyword-rich links
There are much more ideas within Flickr and alike, but I think I'll stop here for now.
The ultimate database interface
The ultimate thought about the database would be to have a single patient as a single object that could be entered, tagged, viewed and commented. It would be a clone of the mentioned websites, specialized in the congenital heart surgery.
This also brings me back to the idea of modeling the heart, as this kind of data model would lead to much more powerful tags than current ones.
Creating a complete environment with data entry is impossible due to a simple fact that it's a thesis of a single computer science student. Me, that is. Having to keep with the schedule, I will concentrate on aggregated data views.