The Data Warehouse As The Foundation For Decision Support Within A Healthcare System

Author: Deepthi Nair

Primary Advisor:

Committee Members:

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.


Improving safety and quality while reducing costs is a major challenge faced by the healthcare system in the United States. Application of information technology to improve efficiency has had limited results so far. We propose that the development of a centralized information system, the core of which is a data warehouse, is the best option available to facilitate better decision making and, thus, help improve the healthcare system. A data warehouse simplifies the business process by providing integrated, historical, time-variant, and subject-oriented data. This is a distinct asset, allowing the decision making process to become easier and more accurate. The benefits of building a data warehouse are many and should be carefully considered by those endeavoring to develop a system which offers the promise of a simpler, sharper, and more effective way to make good, viable decisions. Developing a data warehouse for decision making purposes requires planning, in a suitable way, for use of important decision making tools, including data mining and OLAP. This article also discusses the significance of cultural attitudes as well as practical steps that are needed to develop a new data warehouse. Relevant published literature on development of data warehouses and its role in decision making is reviewed and the challenges are discussed.