Harnessing Big Data


The mission of the International Hospital Federation is to contribute to better health for all people around the world through the advancement of performant and well-managed healthcare organizations and facilities. Successful hospitals and healthcare systems are those who can harness the power of data and analytics to improve performance and operational efficiency without compromising quality of care.


To support our Members with this agenda, the IHF has established a Special Interest Group (SIG), in partnership with Vizient, on the imperatives and advantages of harnessing big data and analytics to improve performance in healthcare systems.


Purpose of the Special Interest Group

The ‘Harnessing Big Data’ SIG will produce exclusive thought-leadership products, real-world case studies and instructional tools for C-level leaders in hospitals and health service providers. This will include:

  • Practical guidance on building organizational ‘know-how’ around big data and performance improvement (e.g. how to establish an effective data analytics program).
  • Contemporary examples of how being able to harness data is key component of C-level leadership development, enabling leaders to make well-informed decisions for improvement and growth.
  • Pragmatic advice from subject matter experts around the globe on how to report, compare and analyze data for informed decision-making.


SIG Activities

On August 11 2022, join members of the Harnessing Big Data SIG for a special lunch and learn session focused on how CEOs and other C-suite executives can prepare effective strategic communications prior to, during and after a cyber-attack – to help minimize the negative impact on organizational reputation. 


If you are a clinical or managerial executive in a hospital system with responsibilities and decision-making accountabilities for strategic communication initiatives or you have an interest in crisis communications in healthcare, don’t miss this virtual event – register for free here!


Governance and Engagement

Governed by a Steering Committee, the Special Interest Group will be accountable to the International Hospital Federation Governing Council and is responsible for reporting to the IHF Secretariat. Further information on the role of the SIG Steering Committee can be found in its Terms of Reference.


Please direct any questions regarding the work of this Special Interest Group to the IHF Secretariat.

+ Meet the Global Steering Committee

Emil Ackerman, Knowledge Architect Tampere, University Hospital, Finland

I’m responsible for the development of knowledge management practices and infrastructure in a 9,000 employee hospital district. Leading collection, storage and refinement of (big) data for decision support is at the core of my role.


I find it very valuable to exchange thoughts and experiences related to utilization of health care related data to support decision making in various levels of a health care organization. In addition to fruitful conversations with other Committee members, I’m looking forward to spreading ideas and best practices across the world together in order to enhance data-driven healthcare world-wide.

Rosie Richards, Assistant Director, European Digital and Research policy, NHS Confederation

My role is to support the healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to better harness public health data to understand and tackle health challenges and drive advances in medical research and innovation. Harnessing big data, in a safe and secure manner, holds the key to rapid health advancements – if we can build the correct environments, infrastructures, safeguards and trust in data use.


I joined the SIG Global Steering Committee to exchange knowledge and best practice with other international practitioners. Harnessing big data effectively and safely is a shared global challenge and one which requires joint solutions.

Kin Lee, Chief Digital & Information Officer, and Enterprise Information Security Officer, The Joint Commission

I lead enterprise-wide digital transformation vision for the development and execution of information technology, data analytics, and business applications for the Joint Commission, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, Joint Commission Resources, and Joint Commission International, to ensure IT is leveraged most effectively to further The Joint Commission’s mission to continuously improve health care for the public.


Leveraging data and information as a powerful, trusted, strategic asset to achieve the Joint Commission enterprise mission is critically important in helping health care organizations to transform the safety and quality of healthcare. Being on the SIG Committee enables the exchanging of information and ideas, sharing of lessons learned and best practices: which is invaluable as we are all embarking on this journey.

Tom Coolen, Director ICT, Biomedical equipment, Patient Administration services and Quality, University Hospital of Brussels, Belgium

I was involved in the setup of our hospital’s digital health platform and including the secondary use of ‘real-world’ data.


My interest in joining the Harnessing Big Data SIG Committee is to exchange best practices on a global platform.

Osama El-Hassan, Specialist, Dubai Health Authority, United Arab Emirates

I supervise leveraging the digital health regulatory framework of the emirate of Dubai which includes data strategy, health information governance, data analytics and AI.


My interests in joining the SIG Committee are focused on knowledge exchange on data strategy development and execution at both enterprise and health ecosystem levels.

Sujoy Kar, Chief Medical Information Officer & Vice President, Apollo Hospitals, India

I am responsible for designing, developing and deploying over dozens of Clinical AI APIs at Apollo Hospitals. My  current and ongoing research interests are in adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, Digital Health Platforms and Design Thinking in Healthcare.


My motivation for joining for this SIG Committee is to fundamentally look for healthcare partners for  clinical data collaboratives, facilitate federated learning for the models and look for their validation, calibration and co-creation with partners.  I am actively looking forward to engaging with policy decisions and proliferation of AI ML in Clinical Work flows under ethical frameworks.

Ligia Kornowska, Managing Director, Polish Hospital Federation

I’m responsible for issues with medical data (access to medical data, data protection, cybersecurity) and innovations in healthcare, i.e. AI, AR, blockchain technology. I’m co-founder and President of the Board of the “Donate your Data” Foundation.


When it comes to access to medical data, we have to establish international cooperation – I believe, that participating on the Harnessing Big Data SIG Committee will help with this mission.

Ahmad N Shatat, Head of Surveys and Surveyors Unit, Health Care Accreditation Council (Jordan)

In my role, I manage a large database on healthcare institutions indicators, changes, challenges and compliance to quality and patient safety standards. In addition, I am the core producer of information for decision making based on real life institutional needs for the HCAC.


My motivation for joining this SIG Committee is in creating new tools and products which can help health organization in using big data in more creative and effective ways, this improving the efficiency and quality of provided health services in Jordan.

Other members of the Global Steering Committee include:

  • David Levine, Group Senior Vice President, Advanced Analytics and Product Management, Vizient, Inc.
  • Hasina Al Harthi, Head of Research Section, The Royal Hospital, Ministry of Health, Oman
  • Julie Cerese, Senior Vice President, Network Solutions, Vizient, Inc.
  • Aigul Kulmukhamedova, Executive Director, Mediker International Hospital