NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample

As technology advances, so does the ability to obtain and analyze large sets of data from numerous differing sources.  The result of this voluminous information is called big data.  Big data is the name given to the vast amount of datasets within the organization that are difficult to manage due to their lack of structure (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018).  The universal move from paper charting to the electronic health record (EHR) has allowed more efficient access to all aspects of current healthcare documentation along with older data via backup and storage media. 

The daily use of an EHR provides a continual data set that can easily be probed and assimilated to produce information that can then be used to influence positive patient outcomes.  Trends in the documentation found to be useful during the monitoring and management of patient care can be examined and used to direct change in future policies and procedures.  Due to the universal language of most charting modules within a health system, the data can easily be searched and mined for a specific metric.  An issue arises when a query wishes to retrieve charting details from an unstructured area, such as narrative charting entries. 

As long as EHRs allow custom narrative entries, the ability to pull organized system-wide search results will be time and labor-intensive.  The unformatted information must then be manually viewed, read, and sorted.  Lack of integration is a prime example of how big data mining can be overwhelming and cumbersome within a clinical system (Wang et al., 2018). 

One strategy used to mitigate the challenge of big data is using a checkbox flowsheet method of universal charting.  The structured format of this technique provides organized, easily accessible, and easily interpreted results to the informaticist (Glassman, 2017).  Although using the narrative approach can be more efficient at times by grouping together multiple assessment categories in one location, the information could be invisible and, therefore, unavailable for the requested project at hand. 


NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample References 


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

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2018). Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge (4th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning. 

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

The obvious benefit of using big data in health care is the utilization of electronic health records.  This type of big data creates consistency, efficiency, awareness of patient’s conditions/outcomes, and help analyze trends in patient health.  Using EHRs allows doctors, nurses, and staff to all view the patient’s history, and this allows consistent care among different ancillary departments.  Connected healthcare devices that go straight into the EMR, such as vital signs, heart rates, CO2 monitoring, all allow for staff to judge and give the appropriate care to patients across the lifespan.  Macierira et al. (2018), described using standardized nursing terminologies to document nursing care enables and assists easy retrieval of nursing data while utilizing the nurse’s clinical reasoning.  Using standardized nursing terminologies (SNT) is a first step towards supporting nursing data to big data science.

A potential risk is for EHRs is a data breach of medical information.  In the past, some facilities have had medical information compromised due to a data breach.  Many hackers steal social security numbers to home addresses.  A typical data breach that occurs is commonly as simple as human error (UIC, 2016).  The latest breach that I can remember is when Quest had a cyber-attack and affected millions of patient’s in the spring of 2019. NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample
NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample

There are many things that healthcare facilities can do to protect patient data.  Using encrypted software, provide continued HIPAA education to employees (my facility makes this a requirement once a year), send out test phishing emails (my facility does this), and monitor devices and WIFI systems.  The hospital that I work for utilizes all of these tactics to prevent data breaches on a patient’s identity and health care records while educating staff on watching out for potential hackers and data breaches.

Another challenging aspect of using big data is recognizing how data in healthcare interacts throughout the system (Thew, 2016).  Meaning, will the patient adhere to the education provided to them?  They may provide teach-back towards the nurse while inpatient, but how are we to keep track of the training offered at the hospital is continued at home?  There are still many aspects missing in the world of data in healthcare.  Many times primary care providers follow up with the patient after discharge which provides some relief for nursing staff and physicians.

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NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample References

Macieira, T. R., Smith, M. B., Davis, N., Yao, Y., Wilkie, D., Lopez, K. D., & Keenan, G. (2018, April 16). Evidence of progress in making nursing practice visible using standardized nursing data: a systematic review. AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings Archive, 1205-1214. Retrieved from

Protecting patient information in the age of breaches. (2016). Retrieved from

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

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample RE: Discussion – Week 4


D…, I really appreciate your comment about recognizing how data in healthcare interacts throughout the system (Thew, 2016). I work

at the local Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC). We work closely with law enforcement and other healthcare providers. We currently still use paper charting. However, I believe if we were to utilize an EHR, we could improve communication with patients, fellow healthcare providers, and law enforcement. NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample

A federal law was passed to ensure victims of sexual assault can be up to date on their legal case, including the status of their sex crime kit (the evidence). After evidence is collected, the patient will receive a unique PIN number. They will be able to log on to a website to find out the status of their kit. The sex crime kit will be tracked from the moment the evidence leaves their possession. This process is extremely exciting for the patients, mainly because the legal process can take months to years to be completed.

Due to the nature of these cases, sexual assault nurse examiners are no longer involved in the legal case past the sexual assault exam until they are asked to testify in court. For that reason, nurses hardly know if the patient is following up with the recommended referrals. I believe if we had an online patient portal, we could improve communication with patients. We could potentially send out reminders, answer questions, and have resources listed.

As Laureate Education (2018) explains, often, the patients that miss the follow-up appointment are the patients you will see back again in worse condition. Although this video was referring to a hospital setting, this tends to be the case for sexual assault victims as well. Attending follow-up appointments and getting the appropriate care needed is vital to the transition from a victim to a survivor. Having some sort of portal to make sure patients are not getting lost in the system somewhere would be such a fantastic resource.

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample References

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Health Informatics and Population Health: Analyzing Data for Clinical Success. [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Thew, J. (2016, April 19). Big data means big potential, challenges for nurse execs. Retrieved from

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample RE: Week 4 – First Response


Hi T…,

Your idea of using an electronic portal for communicating with victims of sexual trauma and offering additional resources is wonderful!  Resources such as telehealth work in a similar manner, but may not collect all the useful data points that you have suggested.  “Use of health information technology might be well applied to rendering group therapy to women who have experienced military sexual trauma” (Lutwak, 2014).  By utilizing group telehealth services, those in need could receive care immediately while creating a supportive social network.  All this could potentially be available at a convenient time for the consumer thanks to technology.  By utilizing technology systems such as this, “delays for beginning therapy should be obviated, and a greater number of women who are victims of MST would receive needed care” (Lutwak, 2014).

One of the things I love about patient portals is that it allows the patient to be positioned in the driver’s seat of their care.  “Patients with the motivation, knowledge, skills, and confidence to become actively involved their own health and healthcare have been demonstrated to have better health-related outcomes” (Ancker, 2015).  Being informed, and informed timely, as a patient is very beneficial.  Patient portals are also useful communication tools with healthcare providers.  “In addition to offering access to personal medical data, electronic portals also frequently offer secure messaging with the office or the provider, access to electronic libraries of patient education resources, appointment scheduling, or other patient-oriented functions” (Ancker, 2014).

In our long-term care facility we encourage patients and families to signup for these portals.  It helps us to facilitate accurate care planning and provides transperancy into a resident’s health.  I only wish that we could collect more data from the systems to use in our facility, such as how often communciations with providers occur between residents, or their family members.

NURS 6051 Discussion Big Data Risks and Rewards Sample References

Ancker, J. S., Osorio, S. N., Cheriff, A., Cole, C. L., Silver, M., & Kaushal, R. (2015). Patient activation and use of an electronic patient portal. Informatics for Health & Social Care, 40(3), 254-266.

Lutwak, N. (2014). Using health information technology to delivery mental health interventions to victims of military sexual trauma. General Hospital Psychiatry, 36(1), e1.

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I appreciated your outlook on the discussion this week. You highlighted some meaningful use for EMRs on quality and safety. An opportunity for nurses to add to the topic of adverse drug events could be in their partnership with the vendors of EMR systems to incorporate narrative-style documentation in addition to flow sheet data from adverse events (Glassman, 2018). The general theme of big data benefits seems centered around involvement and having the data work for a greater purpose. I can relate to the incident you describe at your workplace facility, and I empathize as I have had a similar experience in the healthcare organization I use. Within our local community, there is a monopoly and lack of healthcare access and competition. With only one healthcare facility within a 50-mile radius for a higher level of care opinion, it recently fell victim to a mass cyber-attack. With a recent hack in security, I have witnessed the fallout in trust in the patient relationship with the organization, employees, and providers. A heightened level of disruption has intimately affected numerous community members and me. Getting a letter for free identity theft monitoring was quite unsettling as the solution proposed by the organization. As a patient within a healthcare system and an employee, I felt angry and unsettled; I can only imagine those members who lack an understanding of cyber security. Building a culture around the responsibility of cybersecurity has to stem from education and collaboration efforts like the ones you describe and then some. According to Niki et al. (2022), “cybersecurity in healthcare is not a duty or an obligation but an act of responsibility. When patients and families entrust their lives to the health system and its professionals, their complete commitment to excellence in delivery is a basic expectation” (para 1). With this tremendous fallout effect, the lack of competition in rural hospitals and department infrastructure is desperate for innovative leadership (Austin B. Frakt, 2019). I think cybersecurity and better meaningful use would enhance patient safety and the patient and staff’s confidence in assuring their information is secure and used for its intended value.

Big data is an important part of our daily lives. As nurses, big data plays a key role in our job of providing quality care to patients.  The data is then sorted out to get the appropriate information to provide personalized care to each patient. (Glassman, 2017) Big data however, comes with its risks and benefits.

One major benefit of big data is to manage and track mass diseases. Diseases such as Covid-19  caused of lot of damages to human lives and big data helped spread the word, slow down its spread, and eventually led to a place where it could be managed. Information was shared from health professionals to healthcare facilities, and across the world on how to prevent the disease, as well as how to stop it’s spread. Experts were able to track in real time how the disease was spreading. As a result the appropriate measures were taken to prevent this dangerous disease from going even further and taking many more human lives. (Calzon, 2022)

A disadvantage of big data is security breach caused by failure of how data can interact. (Thew, 2016) Big data is a large body of information that can be hacked. At any point in time, someone can hack into a system and shut everything down that will lead to chaos to those needing and using the data.

A hospital next to where I work had a major security breach. What happened during that time is that everything was shut down in addition to patient information being stolen. While the facility worked to restore order and get their systems back running, nursing had to document in paper charts. This was not only time consuming, but was also leaving the nurses very exhausted. Once the nurses are the exhausted, there is room for multiple errors in a hospital unit. Errors could include medication errors or delayed response time to patients and more.


To mitigate risk of security breach, using more than one storage form is recommended. (Wang et al., 2018, p. 10)  Healthcare facilities would have to work together to come up with multiple storage spaces for data as they strengthen the firewall on private information.


Calzon, B. (2022, September 2). 21 Examples of Big Data In Healthcare With Powerful Analytics. BI Blog | Data Visualization & Analytics Blog | Datapine. to an external site.

Glassman, K. S. (2017). Using data in nursing practice Links to an external site.. American Nurse Today, 12(11), 45–47. Retrieved from to an external site.

Thew, J. (2016, April 19). Big data means big potential, challenges for nurse execs Links to an external site.. Retrieved from

Wang, Y., Kung, L., & Byrd, T. A. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations Links to an external site.Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126(1), 3–13.