Big data challenge in nursing care

Respond by offering one or more additional mitigation strategies or further insight into your colleagues’ assessment of big data opportunities and risks.

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Big data benefits

Big data is the compilation of insurmountable information gathered. As Milton (2017) suggested, it encompasses everything from “digital technologies, online services, computing devices,” (Milton, 2017). Big data can be used by banks, the stock market, healthcare system, it’s a matter of taking which information is relevant to what. The part of big data that I’m interested in is what can be used to provide personalized healthcare. In the world of nursing, everyone can agree that the electronic health record (EHR) is a great technology. As this technology advances, it is important that it is also standardized and agreed upon across the board. Charting nursing assessments must be consistent in order to make sense of what was observed. This, in turn, will make turning data into useful information easier when it comes to data interpretation. Nurses utilize all this information to come up with a well-thought-out nursing intervention to provide the best patient care possible. The ever-changing EHR, the accumulation of information gathered from patients through advancement in technology, and the continuous improvements in the current technology in healthcare are all great, however, it was designed to lessen the burden on nurses when it comes to charting and documentation. It seems as though, the more improvements and modifications the electronic health system develops, the more time the nurses are to spend on the computers, inputting more data and interpreting results in the hopes of improving patient care, while at the same time not essentially performing “patient care.”

Big data challenge in nursing care

The biggest benefit of big data in healthcare is I believe the organization of the EHR. As a nurse, being in the front line of healthcare, I have observed the real benefits of electronic health records. The organization I work for has multiple hospitals and outpatient centers, and if the physician is part of this organization, he/she can then access all information in the EHR. This current technology is indeed great for everyone involved, patients and clinicians alike, as the information they would need is readily available. My only concern as a nurse is that it somehow takes away from the nurse to patient relationship. As I have observed in nursing practice, charting can become redundant and unnecessary. This simple redundancy in charting is, in fact, a hindrance in a nurse to patient interaction. I would certainly hope that the future modifications of the electronic health record would reduce redundancy and must be more standardized.

A strategy that I believe has the potential to lighten this growing issue is charting by exception. I surmise, charting by exception will give nurses a little less time to spend on the computer and more time at the bedside. This will improve patient morale and satisfaction if they actually interact more with their nurses instead of having the nurse stare at a computer screen while talking to them.

Big data risk

An information security breach is I believe the biggest threat with the use of big data. Protected health information or PHI, if stolen can wreak havoc in an individual’s life. According to Milton (2017), “big data, by design, are intended to reveal unforeseen connections between data points.” (Milton, 2017). Patient privacy must be protected at all times, confidentiality is essential and must never be compromised. I surmise the information security we currently have is really hard to break however, I also assumed that was the case with credit companies like Equifax, even big banks like J.P. Morgan Chase. If hackers can hack through those, it’s only a matter of time for them to hack through health records.


Arora, A., Garg, S., & Khanduja, V. (2017). Applications of big data in real world: It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know. International Conference on Computing, Communication and Automation, 159-163.

Delaney, C. W., & Westra, B. (2017). Big data: Data science in nursing. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 39(1), 3-4.

Henley, S. J. (2014). Mother lodes and mining tools: Big data for nursing science. Nursing Research, 63(3), 155.

Milton, C. L. (2017). The ethics of big data and nursing science. Ethical Issues, 30(4), 300-302.

Needleman, J. (2013). Increasing acuity, increasing technology, and the changing demands on nurses. Nursing Economic$, 31(4), 200-202.

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