What’s a diagnosis?

The EACTS Congenital Database website states:

The resulting the International Nomenclature for Congenital Heart Surgery including the Minimum Data Set of 21 items and the lists of 150 Diagnoses, 200 Procedures, 32 Complications, as well as 28 extra cardiac anomalies and 17 preoperative risk factors.

What’s a diagnosis, anyway? Is VSD a diagnosis? No, it’s a disease. So are Tetralogy of Fallot and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We can talk about a diagnosis, when certain disease is identified within a patient.

Diagnosis can be also referred to as a set of identified diseases. This is unfortunate, because the nomenclature contains now sets of diseases, for example TGA+VSD. The dictionary of disases should contain single diseases only, and the diagnosis should be defined as a set of previously defined diseases, identified within a patient.

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Tool for the database exploration

I decided to revive my idea of the database exploration tool. It won’t be static HTML files generator, it’ll be a mod_python based web service. Sometimes I wonder, why such tool wasn’t developed before. Now, since I’m starting to make the analysis, I’m becoming a real database user, not an administrator.

Despite I try to create a general tool for the data analysis, I can’t avoid looking at the data directly. I need to examine the data in many ways, and it’s often necessary to look at the specific patient histories to find out, if a special combination of factors was an data entry error, special case or a kind of case that wasn’t considered before.

I want to have trendy URLs, like:

http://server/patients/some-patient-id/
http://server/diagnosis/tof/
http://server/diagnosis/tof/male/

First thought was the mod_python and all custom code, but after some research, I decided to try Django. Its homepage says:

Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.

The tutorial showed how to get a simple poll service in no time. It deals with the database structure as well. I’ll need to build a Django model for my database and port the data, and then I’ll be able to build a browsing interface very fast. And I’ll have my trendy URLs.