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Vitalnet Health Data Warehouse FAQ


 
What is Vitalnet®?   A customized data analysis software.

Vitalnet is a software framework for analyzing large complex health data sets. It runs directly on the desktop (VitalPro) or over the internet (VitalWeb®). Vitalnet fulfills the role of many different kinds of software to benefit you and your organization, including: community assessment, data access, data dissemination, data linkage, data mining, desktop data analysis, enterprise data warehouse, decision support, ICD database, web-based data query system, and virtual data center. It does a lot!
 


Is Vitalnet interoperable with other systems?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet uses open interfaces for input and output data. On the input side, we can import any set of structured ASCII data files with accompanying data dictionary. On the output side, Vitalnet produces HTML files (for browser or word processor), text files (for word processor), GIF and PNG maps and charts (for browser or word processor), delimited files (for spreadsheet), and DBASE III files (for GIS, database, charting, many other softwares). Since Vitalnet uses standard output formats, it will work smoothly with other standards-compliant software.
 


What data can Vitalnet include?   Virtually any data you want.
 
Vitalnet systems currently include the following commonly analyzed data sets: birth, BRFSS, cancer registry, divorce, hospital discharge, induced abortions, infectious disease, marriage, multiple cause mortality, population, pregnancy outcome, and underlying cause mortality. Each version also includes population data, geographic data, and other data (ICD, CPT, DRG, etc.) as needed.
 
Vitalnet can handle any complex record-level data set, including: benefits enrollment, birth defects, census, emergency room, food stamps, HIV / AIDS, health manpower, immunizations, infant death, lead screening, linked birth / death, Medicaid, Medicare, newborn screening, outpatient care, poverty, PRAMS, reportable diseases, TANF, trauma registry, unemployment, YRBS, and WIC.
 


What is the upper age limit for the data?   Whatever you specify.
 
The upper age limit can be set to whatever you want. Age categories over 75 may be used, and are recommended, if population data are available.
 


How do the data get imported?   We do it, at no extra cost.
 
The process works as follows: * You provide data files and accompanying documentation. * EHDP carries out the data importing. * EHDP works with you to resolve any data problems that may occur. * EHDP keeps you fully informed of all data importing procedures. * EHDP maintains full confidentiality for the data. * EHDP complies with any required data use agreements.
 
The data importing process benefits you and your users: * Allows users to have access to the data much sooner. * Lowers potential for error, increases data integrity. * Lowers costs of otherwise very expensive process. * Keeps you in control of decisions, timelines and standards. * Allows us to create media for installing to your computers.
 


Does EHDP provide birth or death certificates?   No.
 
Contact your state health agency or other governmental body.
 


Does EHDP sell data?   No.
 
We are in the data analysis software business, not the data marketing business. You own and maintain full control of the data. We load into Vitalnet whatever data you need to analyze. We provide full confidentiality for whatever data you provide. We put top priority on data protection.
 


What does Vitalnet look like?   It's clean and efficient.
 
VitalWeb Standard and VitalWeb Wizard are browser interfaces. They make tables, maps and charts, and are intended for public use. VitalPro for Win32, a desktop interface, also makes tables, maps, and charts. Keyboard-driven, it is fast and efficient, and gives maximum analytical flexibility. VitalPro for Windows is a native Windows application. It runs on any Windows PC or LAN. It has the same analytical capability as VitalPro for Win32.
 


Will Vitalnet be customized for my needs?   Yes, fully.
 
  • Customized for areas and regions in your jurisdiction.
  • For smallest age groups you use (eg, 0-21, 22-24, 25-29, ... 75+).
  • For race groups you specify (eg, White, Black, Hispanic, Other).
  • You decide which variables and field values to use.
  • Local details and advice are included in the user documentation.
  • Other requested feasible customizations added, at no extra cost.
 


Does Vitalnet meet NEDSS requirements?   Yes (separate page).
 


Does Vitalnet meet disability requirements?   Yes (separate page).
 


Do Vitalnet systems do cell suppression?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet does numerator-based cell size suppression. If desired, you may specify a minimum suppression level, such as 5 events. The user can modify the cell suppression level, up to an optional minimum specified by you, such as 5 events. If needed, we can configure the program to use alternative suppression methods (denominator-based, combination of numerator and denominator). Vitalnet automatically suppresses row and column totals to prevent suppressed cells from being uncovered.
 


Does Vitalnet make charts?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet makes pie, bar, and line charts. The charts are in gif or png format. Each chart can be easily customized in many different ways.
 


Does Vitalnet make table series?   Yes, a great time saver.
 
Vitalnet can make a whole series of tables. For example, it can automatically make a separate table for each county. This greatly simplifies and speeds analysis.
 


Do Vitalnet systems do leading causes of death?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet uses NCHS rankable cause lists. The top 10 causes from a list are the leading causes of death.
 


Does Vitalnet calculate an age-adjusted rate for 20-64?   No.
 
Vitalnet can produce the age-specific rate for age 20-64. It is possible to program the capability to age-adjust within age groups, but the additional complexity and potential confusion do not seem worth the occasional benefit. If needed, Vitalnet can quickly produce the age-specific rates and population numbers needed to set up a spreadsheet to do the calculations.
 


How do I print Vitalnet output?   There are several ways.
 
1) Directly print from the application: VitalPro for Unix. 2) Directly print from your browser: All other VitalPro and VitalWeb platforms. 3) Print from another software (word processor, spreadsheet, GIS, database, etc.) after importing from Vitalnet HTML, text, delimited, or database output.
 


How many ICD codes does Vitalnet include?   It depends on the system.
 
VitalPro desktop platforms include the entire ICD system, and will work with data coded to ICD-9 or ICD-10. There are three access methods:
 
  • Directly select ICD range, from a scrolling list.
  • Select from branching menus with all ICD codes.
  • Select from menu with the most common groupings.
 
VitalWeb browser platforms allow selection from a menu with the most common categories and groupings. Again, they handle data coded to ICD-9 or ICD-10.
 


Can Vitalnet analyze national data?   Yes, very well.
 
Vitalnet can import and analyze data from any geographical jurisdiction. We have successfully imported and analyzed US national mortality data.
 


Can Vitalnet work in Spanish?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet has been "internationalized", and can be "localized" to any language. Spanish and Chinese versions have been successfully built.
 


Can Vitalnet analyze zip code data?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet can import and analyze data from any geographical jurisdiction, including sub-county data. We have successfully imported and analyzed Texas zip code data. Vitalnet will also work with census tract data, logically equivalent to zip code level data.
 


Can the user rotate (pivot) table axes?   Yes, easily.
 
After making a table, simply return to the interface and switch the variables for rows and columns.
 


What race groups are used?   It is up to the licensee.
 
Any race categories may be used. The smallest race categories depend on the standard way that data are analyzed in your jurisdiction. During analysis, race categories may be combined as needed.
 


Does Vitalnet project trends into the future?   Yes.
 
Vitalnet trend analyses automatically include a "least-squares" analysis. The analysis produces a Y-intercept and slope, which may be used to draw the best line through the data and project into the future. Confidence intervals for the slope may be included, to decide if there is a significant trend.
 


Does Vitalnet make maps?   Yes, very well.
 
Both web (VitalWeb) and desktop (VitalPro) systems makes professionally formatted thematic maps that allow the user to quickly identify areas with high rates. The maps are in png or gif format. In addition, Vitalnet can export results to a dBASE III file, which will easily read into any GIS software. This allows you to overlay the data with other data (for example, environmental exposure data).
 


Can I download results data?   Yes, in several ways.
 
The following output formats are available for downloading results:
 
  • CSV / TSV / DIF - For importing into spreadsheet software.
  • dBASE III - For graphing, mapping, or data analysis software.
  • ASCII Text - For importing into any word processor.
  • HTML - For display in any browser.
 
Note: None of the data within Vitalnet can be directly accessed or downloaded by users.
 


What are the hardware and software requirements?   Minimal.
 
VitalPro runs under Windows, DOS, and Linux. Any version of Microsoft Windows is supported. The VitalWeb front-end runs in a browser. More than 99% of current browsers are supported. Disk and memory requirements are low. For example, 2000 Texas death data (149,763 deaths) uses about 600 kilobytes of disk space. VitalPro uses 1 to 2 megabytes of RAM. Vitalnet does not require other commercial software (SAS, Oracle, etc.) to run. Vitalnet takes about a second to produce most output, even on low-end computers.
 


Can I monitor program usage?   Yes.
 
We realize the importance of usage monitoring for: * Producing budget reports. * Assessing program usage. * Determining common analyses. Vitalnet provides you the following information: * Counts of tables, maps, and charts. * Links to actual output produced. * Log files with a record for each output made.
 


How is Vitalnet licensed?   Simple flat-rate license (separate page).
 


Why should I license Vitalnet software?   Many reasons.
 
  • Save large amounts of money in development costs.
  • Save large amounts of money in maintenance costs.
  • Get best available data warehouse solution.
  • Get needed software infrastructure for virtual data center.
  • Increase user productivity, saving time and money.
  • Receive professional online help and user guides.
  • Make best use of data for analysis and decision-making.
  • Produce useful results and answers in seconds.
  • Provide both local and remote access to needed data.
  • Get guaranteed data integrity and testing services.
  • Meet the needs of both occasional and expert users.
  • Get ready-to-use, clearly documented output.
  • Greatly simplify procurement and admininistration.
  • Minimize user training needs and costs.
  • Get full support needed for project success.
  • Get full customization for your requirements.
 


What's the catch?   There is no catch. Contact us today.
 
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