Application of Statistics in Healthcare
Healthcare workers labor tirelessly to provide the best possible care to their patients; as a result, they rely heavily on research. Statistics is a critical pillar of healthcare research because it helps healthcare practitioners to obtain, analyze, interpret, and disseminate data and is valued as a driver for continuous improvement of patient care.
Statistics, defined as the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data for the aim of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample (Guetterman, 2019), is a daily imperative in clinical decision-making. Care practitioners are therefore recommended to be competent in research and statistics, skills that would enable them to serve their patients efficiently.
Recognizing the value of these skills, training institutions incorporate nursing research into the pedagogy of baccalaureate-prepared nurses to strengthen their research and statistics knowledge and skills. As such, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the significance of statistics in healthcare in contexts of quality, safety, health promotion, and leadership, as well as to highlight how statistical knowledge is applied in day-to-day operations and how it influences decision-making in my specialty area.
Application of Statistics on Quality and Safety of Patient Care, Health Promotion, and Leadership in Healthcare
Quality and safety are highly valued and desired outcomes of nursing care. The World Health Organization [WHO] (2022) defines quality as the extent to which healthcare services offered to patients maximize the probability of desired health outcomes. Statistics allow care providers, researchers, policymakers, and public health interventionists to analyze the effectiveness of interventions employed to address specific patient needs and whether the interventions fulfilled the anticipated criteria.
In the case of the most recent Covid19 pandemic, for example, quality indicators could include the number of Covid19 positive cases admitted to the emergency department, the mortality rate of Covid19 cases, and the number or percentage of care providers who contracted the disease while caring for other patients.
Suppose alarming data are collected and it is shown that standard hand washing approaches are ineffective. In that case, a better intervention, such as directly observed patient hand hygiene, may be used to enhance the quality of care and patient safety.
Regarding safety, which refers to the avoidance or reduction to acceptable limits of real or potential damage from healthcare management, statistics may help healthcare professionals detect the harm a medication causes patients and guide the decision to discontinue or remove the drug for safety reasons.
According to Craveiro et al. (2020), a total of 133 medications were removed from the market owing to safety concerns throughout the study period (1990-2010). Statistics allow healthcare practitioners to ascertain the number of patients who received a specific medication and the number of patients who experienced a specific adverse reaction, influencing future prescriptions of the drug and therefore maintaining patient safety.
Because of a cluster of illnesses caused solely by lifestyle choices, health preventative and promotion efforts are highly valued. Through statistical enumeration, studies have shown that smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, and a poor diet are key risk factors for hypertension; this data is used to construct health preventive and promotion activities aimed at lowering the risk of the condition.
Prevalence, distribution, and risk information allow epidemiologists to identify geographical areas where interventions are most required (Aggarwal, 2018). Leaders also depend heavily on data to establish the kind of policies, guidelines, and actions to implement to promote care.
To stay current on patient needs, leaders study, evaluate, and understand novel research results, which guide their decisions on what steps to take to meet those needs. In healthcare, the leadership stratum is seen as a critical position from which actions are taken after decision-making based on evaluating different data facts.
Application of Statistics in Nursing Specialty
To ensure patient quality and safety in a continuously evolving nursing practice, nurses must stay current in their knowledge and skills of care delivery. While nurses may wait for other people’s completed research findings to draw evidence, they may also actively participate in research projects by collecting and analyzing data.
As a nurse, I would collect statistical data from patients using quantitative instruments such as questionnaires, body mass index assessments, and symptom scales such as the visual analog scale for pain. I would also use qualitative methods such as interviews, especially during history taking when the patient gives an account of his or her illness.
The statistical data obtained from the patient history, physical examination, and laboratory studies are utilized to make diagnostic and treatment decisions (Guetterman, 2019). Furthermore, this data is utilized to identify the most prevalent ailments commonly treated at a hospital and establish proper plans for the required resources to treat such diseases. Moreover, data on the most prevalent diseases are communicated to the Ministry of Health, which decides what measures are ideal for certain facilities.
While attempts to put evidence-based findings into practice continue, statistics and research remain intrinsically tied to healthcare. In healthcare, statistical data may take several forms, including patient medical history, physical examination, laboratory testing, and data obtained in actual research projects. Recognizing the obvious relevance of statistics in healthcare, healthcare practitioners are advised to continue enhancing their knowledge and skills in such areas to enhance patient care.
When used appropriately, statistical data, especially from research studies, may affect patient care quality and safety, as well as health prevention and promotion initiatives and leadership decision-making. While unforeseen events such as the Covid19 pandemic ravaged healthcare and other industries, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, driving research and resulting in advancements in patient care.
Aggarwal, R. (2018). Statistical literacy for healthcare professionals: Why is it important? Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia, 21(4), 349. https://doi.org/10.4103/aca.aca_177_18
Craveiro, N. S., Lopes, B. S., Tomás, L., & Almeida, S. F. (2020). Drug withdrawal due to safety: A review of the data supporting withdrawal decision. Current Drug Safety, 15(1), 4–12. https://doi.org/10.2174/1574886314666191004092520
Guetterman, T. C. (2019). Basics of statistics for primary care research. Family Medicine and Community Health, 7(2), e000067. https://doi.org/10.1136/fmch-2018-000067
World Health Organization. (2022). Quality of care. Who.int. https://www.who.int/health-topics/quality-of-care
Application of Statistics in Healthcare Instructions
Statistical application and the interpretation of data is important in health care. Review the statistical concepts covered in this topic. In a 750-1,000 word paper, discuss the significance of statistical application in health care. Include the following:
Describe the application of statistics in health care. Specifically discuss its significance to quality, safety, health promotion, and leadership.
Consider your organization or specialty area and how you utilize statistical knowledge. Discuss how you obtain statistical data, how statistical knowledge is used in day-to-day operations and how you apply it or use it in decision making.
Three peer-reviewed, scholarly or professional references are required.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Application of Statistics in Health Care (quality, safety, health promotion, leadership)
Application of Statistical Knowledge to Organization or Specialty Area
Thesis Development and Purpose
Argument Logic and Construction
Mechanics of Writing
Documentation of Sources
Application of Statistics in Healthcare Example 2
Statistics refers to the science of acquiring and managing given sets of data. In healthcare settings, the term “biostatistics” is often used to emphasize the application of statistics to health and medicine. Applying statistics in healthcare is a vital tool for informing myriad decisions. The decisions are either part of clinical work or scientific research that informs evidence-based practice to improve processes and enhance optimal patient outcomes. Applying statistics to healthcare involves steps that create a cycle of scientific-based activities (Bayot & Abdelgawad, 2022).
First, personnel acquire health-related data using various tools (such as questionnaires), obtaining accurate details pertinent to a specific phenomenon. Afterward, the researchers or healthcare practitioners organize and analyze the data. Following the accurate data analysis, reliable and accurate interpretation of the information generated is reliable.
The generation of conclusions and discoveries influences clinical practice and future research. Utilizing the statistical data also helps organizations review and evaluate their performance. For instance, Warchol et al. (2019) state that reviewing readmissions rates helps organizations gauge their performance outcomes and save the associated costs.
Healthcare statistics also help understand the risk factors that face a particular community (National Library of Medicine, 2020). By determining the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality rates associated with specific diseases, statistics help evaluate the well-being of populations. Moreover, statistical information helps inform disease mitigatory plans, monitor and track diseases, evaluate the impacts of policies, and assess the safety and quality of healthcare services. Therefore, the discussed applications of statistics underscore its vitality in healthcare settings.
Significance of Statistics to Quality, Safety, Health Promotion, and Leadership
All professional healthcare providers should know the baseline statistical knowledge about evaluating healthcare studies and data. It is incumbent for healthcare practitioners to incorporate new statistical findings into concrete actions that benefit patients, enhance optimal outcomes, promote the quality and safety of healthcare services, promote health, and improve clinical leadership. Statistics promote the quality and safety of patient care in several ways. For instance, healthcare professionals use various descriptive statistics to monitor the health of their patients (Zach, 2022).
These include metrics such as blood pressure, body temperature, fluctuating body weight, and pulse rate that enables healthcare providers to gain better insights into the well-being of their patients. Statistics also help nurses and other healthcare team members to evaluate the effectiveness of medications and other therapeutic therapies. Where there is no improvement in the patient’s status, the healthcare, informed by the collected statistical data, prescribes other more potent drugs and therapies using evidence-based practice, ensuring safety, quality, and better patient outcomes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) (2022) defines health promotion as activities that help people increase their control and improve their well-being and health status. It focuses on a wide range of environmental and social interventions beyond an individual’s behavior. Health promotion supports individuals, communities, and governments in addressing and coping with health challenges. This is achieved by building personal skills, strengthening community action, creating supportive environments, and establishing healthy public policies.
All these activities and steps are informed by statistical data that support rational decision-making. Healthcare providers analyze the statistical trends in a disease’s prevalence, incidence, morbidity, and mortality rates, using the data to allocate funds and resources. Furthermore, governments use evidence-based information from credible research activities to create health policies and educate people on healthy habits. These activities significantly and positively contribute to the efforts to promote the health status of the citizens.
Statistics play essential roles in leadership in healthcare settings. Statistics enables leaders to anticipate and aptly respond to trends and changes in healthcare organizations. Additionally, by studying the success and failures of previous influential persons, leaders can apply more intelligent decision-making and leadership skills, enabling them to avoid common loopholes that could have detrimental effects on one’s organization.
Furthermore, the correct statistical and research skills allow leaders to critically analyze healthcare data, make critical decisions, predict trends and results, and even answer challenging and complex questions. Therefore, statistical knowledge is a vital tool that enhances a leader’s success and efficiency in fulfilling their organizational roles.
How we Obtain Statistical Data and Apply the Statistical Knowledge
In our healthcare organization, we utilize statistical knowledge in our daily activities. The statistical data is obtained from several sources. These include billing records, electronic medical records (EMRs), health plans, surveys, and expert input from physicians and other healthcare professionals. We use medical records to assess the progress of patients’ conditions, evaluate outcomes, and inform suggestions or policies.
Moreover, we assess the hospital readmission rates to gauge performance outcomes and improve the safety and quality of patient care. Medical records enable us to monitor the age of our patients and the common conditions admitted or attended to at our facility. This information is essential in informing health promotion strategies and policies. Furthermore, as demonstrated by low morbidity and readmission rates, achieving better patient outcomes motivates the healthcare providers, enabling them to be more prudent and committed to their work and roles.
Bayot, M. L., & Abdelgawad, I. (2022). Statistics. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538315/#:~:text=Statistics%20is%20used%20to%20provide
National Library of Medicine. (2020, May 11). About Health Statistics. Www.nlm.nih.gov. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/stats_tutorial/section1/index.html#:~:text=Health%20statistics%20are%20used%20to
Warchol, S. J., Monestime, J. P., Mayer, R. W., & Chien, W.-W. (2019). Strategies to Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates in a Non-Medicaid-Expansion State. Perspectives in Health Information Management, 16(Summer). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669363/
World Health Organization. (2022). Health Promotion. Who.int. https://www.who.int/westernpacific/about/how-we-work/programmes/health-promotion
Zach. (2022, April 8). The Importance of Statistics in Healthcare (With Examples). Statology. https://www.statology.org/importance-of-statistics-in-healthcare/