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ENG 151: Electronic Health Records, Privacy and Big Data: Home

Electronic Health Records and Privacy in the Age of Big Data

ENG 151 Why are we doing this?

INFORMATION LITERACY is one of MCC's four general education goals. Part of Information Literacy is the ability to evaluate information for QUALITY and to select sources that are SUITABLE for the information need! We're here today to help you develop these skills in ENG 151. Following this session (and with some practice), you should be able to: 

  1. Evaluate the quality of a resource using multiple criteria including authority, objectivity, and accuracy.
  2. Judge the suitability of a resource to the information need by assessing  such characteristics as its purpose, scope, intended audience, point of view, timeliness, publication format, and relevance.
  3. Select appropriate search tools to identify and locate information sources for argumentative papers.
  4. Recognize that information issues are becoming increasing important in our society.
  5. Recognize different information formats, such as journal articles, newspaper articles, blogs, etc.

Format Matters

EHRs and Privacy

A survey request in the mail . . .



You have been asked to write a paper on the following topic:

Should there be ethical oversight on the collection and use of big data that includes personal medical and health information?


Today we will be evaluating several sources to potentially use in writing the above paper.

This is a participatory class, so be prepared to present your findings--and reasons for those findings--to the class.

Evaluation Criteria


Substance   Currency   Authority   Relevance   Accuracy   Bias

SCARAB Source Evaluation Rubric (pdf)

Who's looking at my records?

word cloud for medical ethics issues

Source #1

  • go to and search for "quantified self"
  • Skim this source. Then we will evaluate it together as a class.

Source #2

  • Go to the Library Webpage
  • Click on "Databases," then "A to Z Databases"
  • Choose the Newspaper Source database from the list.
  • Type in the search box, "big data" AND sabriya‚Äč
  • An item entitled "Should Employers Know You're on Birth Control? Wellness Data Raises Concerns" by Sabriya Rice should come up.  You don't have time to read the entire source.  Skim the source and then evaluate the source in your group.

Source #3

  • Go to the Library Webpage
  • Click on "Databases," then "A to Z Databases"
  • Choose the Academic Source Complete database from the list.
  • Type in the search box, "big data" AND "biomedical contexts"
  • An item entitled "The Ethics of Big Data: Current and Foreseeable Issues in Biomedical Contexts" by Mittelstadt and Floridi should come up. Skim the source and then evaluate the source in your group.

Source #4

Source #5

Source #6

Which Sources Should We Use?

Which source did you give the highest score to?
Source #1: 8 votes (12.9%)
Source #2: 12 votes (19.35%)
Source #3: 2 votes (3.23%)
Source #4: 6 votes (9.68%)
Source #5: 32 votes (51.61%)
Source #6: 2 votes (3.23%)
Total Votes: 62
Which source did you give the lowest score to?
Source #1: 30 votes (47.62%)
Source #2: 24 votes (38.1%)
Source #3: 3 votes (4.76%)
Source #4: 0 votes (0%)
Source #5: 1 votes (1.59%)
Source #6: 5 votes (7.94%)
Total Votes: 63