The North Carolina General Assembly has enacted a Medicaid Reform that is set to phase in by 2022. The proposal looks to better manage Medicaid costs and improve patient health outcomes by utilizing Big Data through the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE).

Big Data is all the rage nowadays in health care, and it’s an unwieldy concept that arguably can improve the value of health care delivery in the U.S. 

What exactly is “Big Data”? You’ll come across many definitions, but in the world of health care, Big Data captures multiple streams of patient information and deposits it into a clearinghouse (like the HIE) where it can be analyzed. Databases that can better store, compute, and make health care data more accessible for a patient and all of his providers has the potential to reduce health care inefficiencies, such as duplication of services or medical errors. Big Data can also promote transparency regarding best evidence-based medical practices.

For more information, the Harvard Business Review and McKinsey, one of the leading consulting firms, offer some insight.