Big Data’s Impact on Hospital Patient Safety


The healthcare industry must put great attention to detail when protecting their patients from harm. This is not only due to the oath they have taken and the responsibility of helping them heal without harming them, but also due to the legal consequences (and financial penalties) that come with failing in this area. This can be a challenge, but luckily big data technology is helping hospitals promote safety and prevent hospital acquired events.


What is a Hospital Acquired Event (HAC)?

A hospital acquired event (HAC) is anytime that a patient gets an injury or infection due to the hospital’s conditions or its employees. This can have drastic consequences for the patient, of course. However, it also hurts the reputation of the hospital and comes with major financial downside. Big data is helping hospitals reduce these events in a number of ways.


Injury Pathways

When someone receives an injury in a hospital, there are certain factors at play. By tracking these, you can come up with the injury pathway thanks to big data analytics. Then you can reduce the factors that cause injuries to avoid lawsuits, negative patient outcomes, and employee disciplinary actions that reduce profits.


Causes of Infection Agents

Infections are often due to a select number of occurrences that went unnoticed. With better data tracking, you can catch them at their source. That way, each room is cleaned and maintained to avoid infections in the future.


Mapping Distribution Patterns of Infectious Agents

If an infectious agent has already spread from an area, then you need to map its pattern to stop it in the future or contain it. With real time visualization of data using advanced algorithms, teams can predict where the illness will travel. Then, they can form plans and execute them in real time to avoid further damage to patients, property, and legal exposure that are common with these issues.


When it comes to making sure your hospital is in the best position to succeed, patient outcomes must come first. This means first addressing their core illnesses or injuries and then implementing plans and processes to prevent further harm. With big data, you can access a greater amount of data faster and get better insights to inform your strategy moving forward. That way you can back up your processes with real evidence.