NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

The availability of healthcare data is growing exponentially as electronic health records, the use of wearable devices, social media and internet use, and genomic information continue to expand (Gleason & Dennison Himmelfarb, 2017). Utilizing this information improves communication between the interdisciplinary team, patient care, and clinical decision-making, it increases the pressure and documentation workload for nurses and physicians and contributes to burnout NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards.

More than one-half of American physicians and one-third of nurses are experiencing symptoms of burnout, according to Cureus (Pittman, 2020). There is a significant amount of pressure on nurses to provide and analyze data which is a necessary and valuable job function, but it is taxing and time-consuming. Due to a large amount of documentation that is required we do not spend as much time with our patients as we would like, and this often leads to one feeling unfulfilled. Organizations need to prioritize the use of big data to prevent nurse and physician burnout. Utilizing data and predictive technology organizations are able to focus on workplace processes that can be improved, including staffing levels to help alleviate burnout. Additionally, more needs to be done with data and technology to measure nurse competence and satisfaction, and patient education to measure the patient’s retention and ability to do what we teach them. NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

Gleason, K. T., & Dennison Himmelfarb, C. R. (2017). Big Data: Contributions, Limitations, and Implications for Cardiovascular Nurses. NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

Pittman, M. (2020, December 17). How to Use Data to Decrease Nurse Burnout and Improve Patient Care.


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 NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data 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.

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.

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.

Big Data Risks and Rewards

According to Thew,2016, Big data “typically refers to a large complex data set that yields substantially more information when analyzed as a fully integrated data set as compared to the outputs achieved with smaller sets of the same data that are not integrated,”(Thew,2016). In this time and age healthcare is gearing towards using technology in research, data collection, processing, and analysis.  Nurses need to keep up with the advancing technology to continue providing Evidence-based practice and for better patient care outcomes. According to Laureate Education (Producer, 2018). Converting data into information then into knowledge and ultimately into wisdom. When data is joined together, information is obtained. Joining information sets creates knowledge. When experience is applied wisdom is formed and that form the bases of informatics (Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). [Video file] NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards.

The potential benefit of using big data as part of the clinical system, according to Wang and other big data analytics capability as the ability to gather an enormous variety of data – structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data – from current and former customers to gain useful knowledge to support better decision-making, to predict customer behavior via predictive analytics software, and to retain valuable customers by providing real-time offers (Wang et al., 2018). Big data rewards are extensive in healthcare According to Wang and others, big data can be used to identify patterns of care and discover associations from massive healthcare records, thus providing a broader view of evidence-based clinical practice. Healthcare analytical systems provide solutions that fill a growing need and allow healthcare organizations to parallel process large data volumes, manipulate real-time, or near-real-time data, and capture all patients’ visual data or medical records. In doing so, this analysis can identify previously unnoticed patterns in patients related to hospital readmissions and support a better balance between capacity and cost. Interestingly, analyzing patient preference patterns also helps hospitals to recognize the utility of participating in future clinical trials and identify new potential markets. allows healthcare organizations to assess their current service situations to help them disentangle the complex structure of clinical costs, identify best clinical practices and gain a broad understanding of future healthcare trends based on an in-depth knowledge of patients’ lifestyles, habits, disease management, and surveillance (Wang et al., 2018) NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards.

Research also indicates that big data use increases earlier diagnosis and the effectiveness and quality of treatments by the discovery of early signals and disease intervention, reduced probability of adverse reactions, widening possibilities for prevention of diseases by identification of risk factors for disease, improvement of pharmacovigilance and patient safety through the ability to make more informed medical decisions based on directly delivered information to the patients and prediction of outcomes (Pastorino, 2019). Research indicates that data sampled over different time frames can provide a way to identify changes in unit or hospital performance (Welton,2017).

Potential challenge or risk of using big data, according to Fillinger and others, Data corruption or loss is the most severe damage that can occur, if data were obtained from several sources, a special emphasis should be drawn to the assurance of data correctness. In some research contexts, especially in personalized medicine field, stricter data security efforts than local institutions can typically provide are required, thus hindering data sharing with researchers outside of data collecting institutions that initially have access to, e.g., biopsy material from patients (Fillinger, et al.,2019) NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards.  According to McGonigle & Mastrian the assimilation of new knowledge in a profession is multifaceted the approach of individual perception, challenges, and collective thought applied to the practice of nursing, Nurses challenge what is known and want to acquire, process, generate and disseminate knowledge to improve patient outcomes (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017 p.551).

A strategy that may effectively mitigate the challenges or risk of using big data according to Wang and others. To create a data-driven organization, practitioners must identify the strategic and business value of big data analytics, rather than merely concentrating on a technological understanding of its implementation. To help make the future of nursing data a reality and provide nurses with more quality time with their patients, nurses must get involved. Be part of the selection process for new technology, provide feedback about technology support to improve workflows, and communicate with technology companies about what will improve patient care. Without nurses’ input, they are at the mercy of what engineers think is best (Glassman,2017). NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards



Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Fillinger, S., de la Garza, L., Peltzer, A., Kohlbacher, O., & Nahnsen, S. (2019). Challenges of big data integration in the life sciences. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 411(26), 6791–6800. Retrieved from

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

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards

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 Health, 29(Supplement_3), 23–27.

Thew, J. (2016).  Big data means big potential, challenges for nurse execs. Retrieved from

Wang, Y., Kung, L., & Byrd, T. A. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 126, 3–13.

Welton, J. M. (2017). Data, Science, & Nursing Value. Time-Referenced Data. Nursing Economic$, 35(3), 150–151. From: NURS 6051S Week 5 Discussion: Big Data Risks and Rewards