Hospitals Getting Healthier with Big Data

Big data has impacted every industry, not the least of them is the medical industry. Hospitals recognize the importance of big data and are working to incorporate it into patient care.


This is a slow process as they try to figure out how to accomplish this and find the funds needed for the change. The impact of integrating big data into electronic health records is major, something more hospitals are coming to grips with you in 2014.

Medical Devices

KLAS Enterprises is an IT research team based out of Utah. They developed a report that said that the majority of healthcare providers believe the integration of medical devices with EHRs is important to future purposes, especially in improving patient care.

According to the report, nine organizations were already using the technology around the nation. This is a small percentage of the total, but another 54 were in the process of integrating fusion pumps with EHRs.

Another group of six hospitals based in Los Altos Hills, Calif. have been in the process of connecting bedside monitors, infusion pumps and other devices with their EHR system. It transmits information once a minute, and allows medical professionals to check data over time.

In still another instance of how the integration benefits patient care and improves medical records, smart blood-pressure cuffs were used to send continual data to patients’ records. They were an immediate hit with medical personnel.

Patients in a post-op recovery area would need to have their temperatures monitored to check for potential issues. In a large hospital this could take as long as four hours. A patient’s temperature could spike during that time and remain unrecorded. A physician would be working with inaccurate data. If a smart device is used that connects to the patient’s record, the doctor would have that important information.

It’s obvious that big data and EHR meaningful use is growing as more hospitals see the benefits.

The Medical Center Health Systems in Odessa, Texas is another facility working to integrate technology into patient care. They have implemented a plan to add the smart blood-pressure cuffs and have already replaced all of the heart monitors. The hospital is now looking at home monitoring for the future.

Preventative Care

Using technology to keep patients out of the hospital is the next step in patient care. Using heart monitors at home is just one idea.

Some medical facilities are already using information gleaned from consumer gadgets such as Fitbit.

A Mayo Clinic study showed that using Fitbit could help predict the amount of time needed to recover from surgery by recording how far the patient could walk each day after the procedure.

The changes are impacting hospitals and patient care in numerous ways. This will only continue as more hospitals get on board with the idea of connecting devices to EHRs.

The next challenge will be in recording and understanding data to make it meaningful in patient care. The changes will also influence the key roles of IT in the medical industry.

All of it is designed to make hospitals better equipped to provide optimal patient care.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including HR and small business.