Public Health's 5 Big Data Hurdles

Kate Spies | Government Health IT | June 11, 2012

Public health entities are inevitably sitting on massive data sets. Growing archives of stored patient records, population reports, and lab results are thrusting data volume measures into the petabyte scale. Agencies, on average, currently store data that could require more than “20 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text,” according to MeriTalk’s recent report, ‘The Big Data Gap.”

The copiousness of big data doesn’t need any clarification, but the significance of it does – as health entities work to implement EHRs, convert to ICD-10, and reach meaningful use, the importance of grappling with big data needs to be defined. Amongst the growing projects issued to the public health sector, what are big data’s challenges and what are its benefits?

Here are our top five obstacles...