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Education and Events

Data BIG and Small: What Healthcare Decision Makers are Using Now

ECRI Institute's 20th Annual Conference on the Use of Evidence in Policy and Practice
The National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418

Held November 13-14, 2103
A FREE Public Service Event
Overview Agenda speakers resources
Supported by: Cosponsored and planned by:
  • ECRI Institute
  • Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy
  • U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


  • Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History
  • University of Pennsylvania Health System
  • Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania
  • AcademyHealth
  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Health Affairs
  • Milbank Memorial Fund
  • Sutter Health 

This conference was a free public service.
To learn more about making a charitable donation to ECRI Institute, please visit ECRI Institute is a 501(c)(3) exempt organization.

Understanding the uses of "big data" in healthcare is not something decision-makers should leave to others. Big data is gaining a foothold in healthcare. Understanding what big data is useful for, how reliable it is, and how far it has spread requires separating facts from fads.  

This is so important that ECRI Institute and its cosponsors have assembled an extraordinary array of experts—people whose expertise comes from their use of big data for practical purposes—to provide this public service conference at the National Academy of Sciences. Our distinguished conference speakers will present evidence and perspectives on how their organizations are using big data now and where they are likely to use it in the near future. 
ECRI Institute and co-planners had three specific aims for this conference:
  1. Define big data within the context of healthcare.
  2. Take the status of big data to separate the “hype” surrounding big data from its actual potential.
  3. Identify big data’s applicability within healthcare, who is actually using it, and how it relates to “smaller” data.

No single conference will sort these issues completely, BUT no other conference has taken this on.

Why did others attend?
Attendees gained a greater understanding of how big data is being used today by public and private health systems, major employers, providers, insurers, government agencies, researchers, and consumers. They left the conference with an excellent understanding of the status of the use of big data in many key areas of healthcare. 

What attendees had to say:

“ECRI Institute did a great job keeping this evidence based!” 
“Great conference, great panel!”
“Liked the building up on topics to produce full picture. Great 'free' conference which leadership and frontline staff would benefit from attendance.”
“The conference was great. I really enjoyed the knowledge exchange that took place. I can’t wait for the next conference.”

What makes ECRI Institute’s conferences different?
ECRI Institute conferences are always designed to be nonpartisan and to engage the audience in a vibrant discussion with the speakers. The agenda is arranged so that each session follows upon the previous one to provide a coherent experience to participants. You are not expected to know a great deal about big data going in, but you are asked to be actively engaged and participate in the discussions that will take place. All the material that was presented was completely understandable and useful to participants.

ECRI Institute hosts our annual conference on the use of evidence in policy and practice to address broad issues about the science, evaluation of evidence, and the use of medical technology, pharmaceuticals, procedures, and health services. This conference is free and open to the public, and as an added benefit, we record the conference proceedings and add the recordings of the conference to our conference website. None of the speakers and moderators receive honorarium and we do not receive sponsorship from for-profit companies. The annual conference is intended to be an opportunity to exchange ideas for educational purposes. Each annual conference may include opinions, advice, statements, presentations, data, images, videos, documentation and other information (“Materials”) expressed or otherwise shared by presenters whom ECRI Institute has invited to participate. The Materials are for informational purposes only, and the statements, views and opinions expressed at any presentation or in any Materials are those solely of the presenter and not of ECRI Institute. Further, ECRI Institute invites audience members to ask speakers and moderators questions during the question and answer periods at the conclusion of each conference session. ECRI Institute does not endorse or recommend any moderator, speaker, audience member or any views mentioned at any conference or in the Materials.

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