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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(5), 2177-2190; doi:10.3390/ijerph7052177

Using a Relational Database to Index Infectious Disease Information

Consultant, Specialized Information Services, National Library of Medicine, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 510, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Received: 8 March 2010 / Revised: 27 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 4 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Informatics)
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Abstract

Mapping medical knowledge into a relational database became possible with the availability of personal computers and user-friendly database software in the early 1990s. To create a database of medical knowledge, the domain expert works like a mapmaker to first outline the domain and then add the details, starting with the most prominent features. The resulting "intelligent database" can support the decisions of healthcare professionals. The intelligent database described in this article contains profiles of 275 infectious diseases. Users can query the database for all diseases matching one or more specific criteria (symptom, endemic region of the world, or epidemiological factor). Epidemiological factors include sources (patients, water, soil, or animals), routes of entry, and insect vectors. Medical and public health professionals could use such a database as a decision-support software tool.
Keywords: decision support; relational database; infectious diseases; public health informatics; early detection; differential diagnosis; indexing information; knowledge mapping decision support; relational database; infectious diseases; public health informatics; early detection; differential diagnosis; indexing information; knowledge mapping
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Brown, J.A. Using a Relational Database to Index Infectious Disease Information. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2177-2190.

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