Respond by offering one or more additional mitigation strategies or further insight into your colleagues’ assessment of big data opportunities and risks.
Big data provides knowledge, insight, ideas and the potential to expand opportunities within an organization (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018, p. 478). Considerable amounts of data have been collected through the EMR over the past decade creating a challenge for nurse scientist to find nuggets of information in tsunami of data (Gephart, Davis, & Shea, 2017). The amount if big data can be difficult for those required to examine and retrieve information. Despite the overwhelming amounts of big data, it does come with benefits, challenges and risk associated with its use.
A benefit to using big data is the ability to communicate with a large group of patients at one time. For instance, a physician can send a message out to a large group of patients in a short period of time with the use of big data (Laurete Education, 2018). A physician’s office can remind large group of patients of appointment reminders, lab appointments or alert them to call the md office with abnormal lab results. This cost effective and convenient as it allows consistent measures to monitor the practice.
A potential challenge of using big data is the fine line of deciding who owns and who can use the data (Shanthagiri, 2014). For example, the data sources include the patient’s private health information which could now be potentially shared with labs, pharmacies, social media in addition to their physician (Shanthagiri, 2014). The enforcement of privacy of PHI and HIPPA is strict. The potential for error with big data is a high risk.
Working with the VA medical center, I observe strict monitoring and firewalls ensuring safety of patient’s PHI. The vulnerability of exposure of personal health information to social media or social networks is a constant threat. The EMR not only stores health data but also houses the patient’s personal information such as social security numbers, addresses, and birthdays. A strategy to combat this potential problem is a strong malware and security system monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The VA medical center monitors all information going in and going out of the EMR with it’s own security department specific for data protection. Each user is tagged to this information and can be traced. The VA will immediately terminate privileges should a user of the EMR violate any firewall in the system. They monitor everything as they should.
As a bedside nurse I am aware of my contribution to this data however, I am not exposed to the cumbersome job of disentangling this information or protecting it. I know the potential benefit of collecting this information is to provide information as it relates to quantifying and qualifying illness, providing evidence for practice. That being said, big data will continue to grow as we knowledge workers continue to contribute and technology advances.
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