Utter the term "big data" at any ACO, care management or managed care meeting, and one of two things will happen 1) Your colleagues will admire your population health chops and your boss will be reminded that you deserve a raise, or
2) Your colleagues will tire of your faddism and your boss will wonder, once again, just what "big data" means
According to Weber and his co-authors, how should health care providers approach big data?
1) Inventory the available data sets. Traditional examples include electronic health records, insurance claims and pharmacy data. Big data architects should also be aware of non-traditional examples including social media, census records and credit card purchases (such as grocery store purchases , fitness club memberships or over-the-counter meds ).
2) Anticipate "probabilistic matching," since two or more individuals may fulfill criteria. This will involve trade-offs between accuracy and feasibility, since two individuals matching "John Smith" in a single zip code may appear to have the same risk.
3) Worry about HIPAA. Unfortunately, while medical data sets are disparate, they're also walled off by privacy concerns and special regulations that govern genetic and mental health data. It's not insurmountable . The health care industry should also participate in the public square to and help shape evolving societal and legislative standards over privacy.