The embrace of big data in big data in healthcare has been a little slower than many would expect. The reasons are plentiful, ranging from adversity to major technological change to slashed budgets in the wake of Medicare reform and complications with the Affordable Care Act. All of these aspects culminate in a resistance to serious change. The unfortunate problem is that it is these same problems that are causing the greater need for clinical data management on a wide scale.

Clinical Data Management Right Now

Where is clinical data management at in 2015 compared to last year? Well, one major question has been unmistakably proven. Can big data reduce waste in clinical data management? It is affirmed that yes, data management on a large yet uniform scale will reduce data waste and save precious work hours for the entire staff. Nurses and doctors alike are integrating valuable pools of data to make more accurate assessments, and enforcing policy changes that directly reflect the data results.

The Change in Questions

The question has seemed to turn away from the overall efficiency of the system towards how much it costs. The costs are not just upfront and direct. Costs must be assessed on a daily basis. For example, what is the additional cost for training all staff members to harness this data? It gets worse. New staff members need to be trained in the system, including how to access data and how to interpret it. Some institutions are hoping others will embrace big clinical data systems before they have to. This will force them to pay for the training, and to go through that unwieldy process, which allows them to potentially pick up experts once they have been set up elsewhere.

The Need for Security

There are also some immediate areas of discourse that need to be reworked. Security threats are going against HIPAA compliance regulation. Many of these issues have been addressed, such as the IP storage. Some have not. The evolution of clinical data management is pushing towards bigger and wider collaboration between multiple institutions. What was once a close-knit network accessible by two or three in-house experts is not an expressway of big data and big potential for breach.

This is obviously a major issue.

The last major obstacle is how staff members manage clinical data with efficiency. All of these issues bring up major discussions that are thwarting growth in 2015. Thankfully, the questions have steered away from "does this work" and towards "how do we take it on?"