|The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor
Posted on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 - 12:15 pm
Yesterday, we pointed to one academic’s reservations about the short-term potential of so-called “Big Data.”
So in the interest of balance, today we highlight a new article in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To put it mildly, the authors are noticeably more gung-ho about the potential of Big Data, but they also, inadvertently, make clear just how much procedural effort is going to be necessary in order for stakeholders to take use of it.
But first the upside: “As technology grows,” they suggest, “the various types of data available for research grow with it. Big Data solutions aim to harness large and complex collections of digital data and extract focused knowledge and insights from it. In healthcare, experts say Big Data empowers caregivers, scientists, and management to make better decisions that have the potential to save lives, improve efficiencies, and decrease costs. Big Data also has the potential to revolutionize the way health information management (HIM) professionals collect, store, and transmit data.”
In addition, “Big Data has tremendous potential to add value in all healthcare settings. Big Data solutions can help organizations personalize care, engage patients, reduce variability and costs, and improve quality. Once Big Data is managed and integrated, organizations can apply analytics to better understand the clinical and operational states of their business based on historical and current trends, and predict what might occur in the future with a trusted level of reliability.”
The quote one Big Data enthusiast, who predicts, “Big Data will allow traditional claims and procedure data to be integrated with data created outside of healthcare to break down artificial barriers between healthcare settings. For example, data from grocery store purchases, social media, and personal preferences can be integrated to better understand what impacts individual and population health.”
But while the potential for Big Data is very real, so, too, are the steps that need to be taken in order to actualize, if you will, that potential. In fact, it seems to us that by the time the authors finish ticking off the steps that need to be taken, their perspective may not be all that different from that of our cautiously optimistic professor.
So what do you think? What’s the potential for Big Data? Perhaps more importantly, how long until that potential becomes a reality?
Photo courtesy of BBVAtech via Creative Commons