How Data Is Turned Into Information In Health Care

Health care organizations are collecting and storing large volumes of patient data. Information is when you take the data you have and process and interpret it to transform that data into something you can use to make a decision. So the next step is turning data into information that can be used to help patients.

In order to reach that goal, any potential big data analytics initiative should start with an examination of what Dr. Joe Kimura, Chief Medical Officer at Atrius Health, calls the “value chain”. Kimura states that “you’re going to have to take a hard look at the processes you need to change in order to get there. What data are you capturing?  What are you missing? Are you integrating your data where it needs to be integrated? How are you reporting it – and more importantly, how are your end-users actually leveraging those reports both in the workflow and afterwards?”

Instead of a decentralized IT structure and a lack of governance and standardization, organizations have to build a foundation first.


Health care organizations store as much big data as possible so we might forget just how big “big” really is. Consider that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, according to IBM. Regarding health care, think about an hourly flood of new research papers, clinical trials, scientific studies, and patient health information. No wonder it’s impossible for doctors to keep up.


To get the most value from health IT, it’s important to optimize communication and make the information actionable and operational.  Making the leap from big data to point-of-care reporting can be challenging. Simply optimizing processes no longer makes a difference. Doing it well will make the difference.


The Role of Health Care Information Governance In Big Data Analytics

Why is it crucial for health care organizations to master information governance?

AHIMA defines information governance as “an organization-wide framework for managing information throughout its lifecycle, and for supporting the organization’s strategy, operations, regulatory, legal, risk, and environmental requirements.”

Data and information support nearly every activity within a health care organization. Some areas and clinical care depend on robust data integrity and governance more than others.

Patient safety is the highest priority, and poor information governance can quickly create severe problems. All patient data must be accurately identified and must follow the patient throughout every interaction. This is how data becomes actionable information for decision-making.


While quality and accuracy of the data in an organization’s system is crucial for patient safety, privacy and security of critical data also plays a major role. Protecting health care data is protecting the patient.

Organizations have to establish good governance and strong systems around security to produce better outcomes for patients while potentially lowering risks.

Check out our Privacy&Security Solutions Toolkit as a simple and affordable monthly subscription service to comply with your organization’s challenges. Learn more at:–security-solutions.html


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