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Discussion Paper in Mitigate the Challenge of Data Risks In Healthcare

Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

When you wake in the morning, you may reach for your cell phone to reply to a few text or email messages that you missed overnight. On your drive to work, you may stop to refuel your car. Upon your arrival, you might swipe a key card at the door to gain entrance to the facility. And before finally reaching your workstation, you may stop by the cafeteria to purchase a coffee.

From the moment you wake, you are in fact a data-generation machine. Each use of your phone, every transaction you make using a debit or credit card, even your entrance to your place of work, creates data. It begs the question: How much data do you generate each day? Many studies have been conducted on this, and the numbers are staggering: Estimates suggest that nearly 1 million bytes of data are generated every second for every person on earth.

As the volume of data increases, information professionals have looked for ways to use big data—large, complex sets of data that require specialized approaches to use effectively. Big data has the potential for significant rewards—and significant risks—to healthcare. In this Discussion, you will consider these risks and rewards.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Resources and reflect on the web article Big Data Means Big Potential, Challenges for Nurse Execs.
  • Reflect on your own experience with complex health information access and management and consider potential challenges and risks you may have experienced or observed.

Post a description of at least one potential benefit of using big data as part of a clinical system and explain why. Then, describe at least one potential challenge or risk of using big data as part of a clinical system and explain why. Propose at least one strategy you have experienced, observed, or researched that may effectively mitigate the challenges or risks of using big data you described. Be specific and provide examples.

Expert Solution Preview


Big data has become an integral part of healthcare, and it has the potential to bring significant rewards while also presenting significant risks. As a medical professor responsible for designing college assignments, evaluating student performance, and providing feedback, I find it crucial to discuss the risks and challenges of using big data in clinical systems. In this answer, I will describe one potential benefit, one potential risk, and propose a strategy to mitigate the risks associated with using big data.


One potential benefit of using big data in clinical systems is improved patient outcomes. Big data can help healthcare professionals identify patterns and trends in patient data that can help predict potential health issues. With access to large amounts of patient data, clinicians can personalize treatment plans and interventions based on individual patient needs. For example, big data can help identify patients who are at higher risk of readmission or adverse events and provide targeted interventions to prevent these events.

On the other hand, a potential challenge of using big data in clinical systems is ensuring the privacy and security of patient data. With the increasing volume of patient data, protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access and hacking becomes increasingly challenging. Healthcare organizations need to implement effective cybersecurity measures, including encryption, access control, and regular data backups to protect patient data.

To mitigate the challenges of using big data in clinical systems, healthcare organizations should establish a comprehensive data governance framework. A data governance framework is a set of policies and procedures that define how data is collected, stored, accessed, and shared within the organization. It also includes risk assessments, data quality controls, and privacy and security policies. By implementing a data governance framework, healthcare organizations can ensure that data is used ethically, legally, and securely. Additionally, regular training and awareness programs can help healthcare professionals understand the importance of protecting patient data and the risks associated with data breaches.


Using big data in healthcare can bring significant rewards while also presenting significant risks. To ensure that big data is used ethically, legally, and securely, healthcare organizations need to implement effective cybersecurity measures and establish a comprehensive data governance framework. As a medical professor, I believe it is crucial to educate medical students about the importance of data governance and cybersecurity to protect patient data and improve patient outcomes.

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