NURS 6051 Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

Posted: November 24th, 2022

Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

By Day 3 of Week 5

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.

Big Data Risks and Rewards

Several health organizations have adopted the use of big data to impact patient care approaches and care delivery. I have observed different areas in the organization that I work in where they use big data and its impact on care delivery approaches. The healthcare industry stakeholders have also increased their investment in technologies such as the All of Us initiative that will help capture all kinds of data. The proponents of big data in healthcare posit that it will have a tremendous and promising influence on healthcare, while the opponents postulate that it may be a blessing in disguise. Big data comes with its benefits, such as reduced healthcare costs and improved decision-making among healthcare professionals, and challenges, such as legal and ethical constraints, in the healthcare sector.

Potential Benefit of Using Big Data

Using big data creates a beneficial podium where healthcare organizations can reduce healthcare costs and care delivery. The volume of data that organizations and institutions capture from different experiments and healthcare activities is increasing tremendously. The big data they have collected has provided a platform for different promises, such as discovering new healthcare research trends and identifying new treatment methods or approaches for different diseases. It can lead to significant changes in care delivery and discover new cost-effective treatment methods that reduce healthcare costs. Big data can also impact the development of target interventions for reducing emergency department (ED) visits, patient triaging in ED, reducing hospital readmissions and adverse drug effects. It also helps in facilitating the decision-making process of healthcare professionals (Househ et al., 2017). Therefore, utilizing big data has a positive impact on patient outcomes and care efficiency. However, to fully use big data, stakeholders must overcome the technological challenges and build a vast technological infrastructure that will help them use their big data.

Potential Challenge of Using Big Data

The use of big data creates different ethical and legal challenges. The information enclosed in these extensive data systems is always personal and exposure of this protected health information can lead to breaches in patient privacy, confidentiality, and autonomy. The public also demands higher degrees of trust, fairness, and transparency when stakeholders deal with big data. Most organizations may be unable to manage their data leading to significant security breaches. Moreover, the current healthcare environment lacks proper strategies to ensure and affirm data protection, heterogeneity, and analytical flows. Notably, most institutions lack technological infrastructures for data storage, making it a significant challenge towards using big data. Additionally, the accuracy of big data compared to small data is debatable. The enormous size of the data can be a significant challenge as it can produce inaccurate results affecting patient care and healthcare decision-making (Pastorino et al., 2019). These organizations should implement the primary strategy to mitigate these potential risks by implementing a vast technological infrastructure supported with adequate data protection systems. Moreover, the organization should also source professionals that can handle big data to help with data management. The central solution lies in overcoming the technological solutions by having a technological system that can fully handle big data and ensure the data is secure and free from ethical or legal violations (Adibuzzaman et al., 2018). Therefore, organizations must address these concerns to ensure they reap the benefits from big data.


Big data carries with it significant benefits or challenges that affect care delivery. It positively impacts care delivery when organizations implement it in the right way. However, it can also affect patient outcomes if stakeholders cannot manage the big data size. Therefore, big data is a promising field, but the industry must revolutionize to accommodate its impacts.


Adibuzzaman, M., DeLaurentis, P., Hill, J., & Benneyworth, B. D. (2018). Big data in healthcare – the promises, challenges, and opportunities from a research perspective: A case study with a model database.  AMIA Symposium2017, 384–392.

Househ, M. S., Aldosari, B., Alanazi, A., Kushniruk, A. W., & Borycki, E. M. (2017). Big data, big problems: A healthcare perspective. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics238, 36–39.

Pastorino, R., De Vito, C., Migliara, G., Glocker, K., Binenbaum, I., Ricciardi, W., & Boccia, S. (2019). Benefits and challenges of Big Data in healthcare: an overview of the European initiatives. European Journal of Public Health29(3), 23-27.

By Day 6 of Week 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, by offering one or more additional mitigation strategies or further insight into your colleagues’ assessment of big data opportunities and risks.


   I agree that the use of Big Data will be beneficial for locating trends in diseases, such as which age group is most affected or which areas are at the highest risk. This will also assist the medical researchers in finding cures for various diseases by analyzing the results of treatments for different patients, recorded in the Big Data system (Wang et al., 2018). It also results in efficient treatment of the patients considering their records. Despite its benefits, Big Data also poses many challenges, such as the need for new infrastructure to efficiently process data (Glassman, 2017).



Glassman, K. S. (2017). Using data in nursing practice. American Nurse Today, 12(11), 45-47.  Retrieved from                         

Wang, Y., Kung, L., & Byrd, T. A. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for                         healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Changed126(1), 3-13.


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