Medical Big Data and Big Data Quality Problems

29 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2014 Last revised: 5 Mar 2015

See all articles by Sharona Hoffman

Sharona Hoffman

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: 2014


Medical big data has generated much excitement in recent years and for good reason. It can be an invaluable resource for researchers in general and insurers in particular. This Article, however, argues that users of medical big data must proceed with caution and recognize the data’s considerable limitations and shortcomings. These can consist of data errors, missing information, lack of standardization, record fragmentation, software problems, and other flaws. The Article analyzes a variety of data quality problems. It also formulates recommendations to address these deficiencies, including data audits, workforce and technical solutions, and regulatory approaches.

Keywords: Big data, Medical data quality, Electronic health records, Electronic health record problems, Meaningful use regulations, HIPAA Privacy Rule, HIPAA Security Rule

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Sharona, Medical Big Data and Big Data Quality Problems (2014). 21 Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 289 (2014), Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-18, Available at SSRN: or

Sharona Hoffman (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3860 (Phone)


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