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The vast amount of patient information collected and maintained by hospitals is seldom stored in a single database. Much programming effort is wasted on formulating specific queries for each of several data sources, rather than focusing attention on developing the intended functionality of the application. This problem becomes more apparent as more data sources become available. The most obvious strategy for dealing with this multiplicity of data sources, namely storing all data in a singlepmid:8130524 pmcid:PMC2850628 fatcat:xqotsebz35dyvjh2cwq2l4srhu