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Glossary Terms

What is a Relational Database?

What is a Relational Database?

A relational database is a type of database that stores data in tables with columns and rows. Data is then inserted and retrieved by managing the relationships between the tables. The proper term for most relational databases is relational database management system (RDBMS), reflecting that the database not only stores information but also provides functionality to access and manage the data.

In most relational databases, the mechanism for working with data is via the Structured Query Language, commonly known as SQL. SQL is an open standard that is implemented slightly differently, depending on the particular RDBMS software in use.

With many commercial and open-source RDBMS platforms available, a significant portion of the enterprise applications and web apps in use today are backed by relational databases. 

How Does a Relational Database Work?

Relational databases store information in tables of rows and columns. Each row represents a single record in the table, while each column represents a specific data attribute. Relationships between tables are defined using keys, and a primary key is a unique identifier for each row. A foreign key is a field in one table that matches the primary key in another table.

Related tables are brought together via primary and foreign keys via queries. Using SQL, a database administrator runs queries to select, insert, update, or delete data from tables.

An RDBMS also uses indexes on specific columns to improve the performance of SQL queries.

Relational Databases in Healthcare IT

In healthcare IT applications like electronic health record (EHR) and practice management systems, a patient’s personal data and medical records may be spread across many tables.

While most health information management systems have robust reporting functions, custom reports from a backend relational database may require the services of a skilled data analyst.

How TempDev Can Help With Relational Databases

TempDev’s NextGen consultants, developers, and trainers can help you implement, switch, or even upgrade your current EHR system. From dashboardstemplates, and reports to revenue cycle consulting, automation, and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the tools you need to make the most of your NextGen EHR system.

Our team is here to help you design, organize, and implement the whole system, with top tips and guidance based on industry best practices

Contact us here or call us at 888.TEMP.DEV to get the help you need to integrate your healthcare systems with your healthcare IT system’s relational databases.


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