Big Data and Health Care: Prof. Kathy Zeiler to talk about the National Practitioner’s Data Bank

During the law library’s Jan. 30 conference on Big Data, Professor Kathy Zeiler of the Georgetown law faculty will be presenting on issues connected to the use of big data. One of her topics has been in the news this month.

A recent Johns Hopkins study used government data sets to evaluate the number of medical malpractice claims that have resulted from egregious surgical negligence.  This work could only have been done because of a controversial collection of nearly 10,000 malpractice claims housed in the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPBD).  

Created by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the NPDB is a confidential system that compiles malpractice payouts, hospital discipline and regulatory sanctions against doctors and other health professionals. Prof. Zeiler will discuss why the government temporarily restricted public access to the NPBD in order to protect the privacy interest of the malpractice defendants.  

This is just one way in which the library’s conference will examine the legal and information-policy factors which society should consider when using data to further the public good.  

Please join us on January 30 for the conference Big Data and Big Challenges for Law and Legal Information.

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