Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-22-2017


The healthcare industry’s growing use of health information technology has contributed to the enormous accumulation of health care data, leading to active use of the term big data. Although there has been large amounts and varieties of complex data captured during patient care, this data has remained vastly underutilized. The purpose of this study was to assess the variety of benefits and barriers of obtaining meaningful information from big data in healthcare.

The methodology utilized was a qualitative literature review that referenced 17 sources published between 2005 and 2016.Findings suggest that applied big data analytics within the healthcare arena can enable the identification of specific patient groups and pre-disease stage patients, help identify the most effective treatment methods, and assist in developing personalized treatment. Big Data can also help identify potential health hazards, disease patterns, and contribute to disease epidemiology tracking leading to the mitigation of public health hazards. Obtaining meaningful information from big data in healthcare can lead to improved healthcare clinical practices, a reduction of overall healthcare cost, and applied epidemiology applications. However, there are several barriers to big data use in healthcare including big data complexity, security and privacy concerns, and poor data quality. Health care providers need to invest in the ability to integrate enormous amounts of data in order to derive meaningful information and fully realize the potential benefits of big data.


This conference paper was delivered at Business and Health Administration Association 2017 Meeting in Chicago, IL March 22-24. Copyright © 2017 BHAA. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.