I am the current president of VMDB - Veterinary Medical Databases. A group of veterinary schools and veterinary organizations are considering the Common Data Model for animal records. I have some thoughts on how to do this and would like to bounce ideas of off others.
Discussion within the groups has involved two approaches:
Using the tables as they exist and only add fields for unique characteristic to animals such as breed as species. In this approach, person_id would be an alias for animal_id. The main argument presented is the current tools such as Atlas could be used with very minimal modification.
The second approach would rename all fields and tables with person to animal and all foreign keys corrected to reflect those changes. The arguments for this approach is it a better database design since it follow first normal form and is tables and fields accurately reflect what they model. I have reviewed the source code for White Rabbit / Rabbit in a Hat and I think the database tables are described in csv files and that can be modified to accept the changes. I am not sure what modifications would be required for Atlas and other software packages.
Suggestions and comments appreciated.
There are several motivations to adapt the Common Data Model:
- Creating cohorts to analyze animal health records.
- Comparing disease incidence and associations between animal and human populations.