Towards a conceptual data model for compatible registration, transmission and analysis of care information (with NICTIZ)

The Information Systems group is often contacted by industrial organizations with assignments that could lead to student projects at various levels (master thesis project, bachel completion project, etc.) Through this website we make these topics available to our students. In this post, we announce one such project, involving company NICTIZ.

Hospitals often maintain many databases that are based on conceptually overlapping yet syntactically different data models. Many of the differences may be accidental and due to mergers, isolated software acquisition projects (by different functional units in a hospital), changes in the organization, changes to regulations etc. In this project, you will aim at removing redundancies between such databases by proposing a conceptual data model that covers the structure of all hospital data. Additionally, you will demonstrate that using this data model it becomes unnessessary to replicate data across databases. This may involve some more fine-grained registration by medical professionals though. Therefore, you will have to outline clearly who should register which data attribute and at which point in time. If data entry becomes too cumbersome, professionals tend to find work-arounds that help them in their task at hand but that compromize the overall data integrity goal after all.As a source of inspiration, you will analyze the data integrity issues that practitioners from the billing and audit department currently face when confronted with data that has been poorly registered (at least from a financial and quality control perspective) by medical staff.NICTIZ has developed an instrument to model the AS-IS or TO-BE situation of a hospital’s IT architectural landscape. This instrument is called the “referentie domeinen model ziekenhuizen” and it is used in many arhitectural and strategic hospital IT projects in The Netherlands.

This focus of that reference model has been perceived as one of its key success factors. Therefore, you will not extend the NICTIZ domain model but you will carefully design a new one with another (also very focussed) purpose. You should also explain the relation between the two reference models and provide guidance for their combined use in practice.