DQ Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care
HLT 362V Topic 1 Discussion 1
Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care. Describe an example, other than Florence Nightingale’s contributions, where statistical application has greatly influenced or changed health care operations or practice.
There is nothing novel or cutting edge about statistics, the field dates back hundreds of years. The first known evidence of the notion of social statistics dates back to the 1600s and was comprised of documented conversations about probability and formulae for normal curves (Fienberg, 1992). The collection, organization, and statistical examination of patient information are the cornerstones of nursing practice. Florence Nightingale was a statistician who gathered data on injured troops. This data included information on injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Her understanding contributed to a significant improvement in the quality of nursing treatment.
Statistics play a crucial role in all aspects of health care, from the formulation of individualized treatment plans to the implementation of protocols for the detection and prevention of illness at a population level. Because of the complexity of the human body and mind, as well as the ways in which these aspects interact with their surroundings, statisticians and nursing researchers need to work together on a continuous basis. In the same vein as Florence Nightingale, Sir Edwin Chadwick was a social reformer in England. He is most known for his efforts to promote public health and sanitation, as well as alter the Poor Laws. It is well known that Chadwick was the one who conceived up the laws that finally brought British sanitary science into the light of contemporary times, bringing it out of the dark ages. He had a strong passion for enhancing people’s so-called “quality of life.” He was a pioneer in the use of systematic long-term inspection programs, which were used to ensure that the changes were carried out as intended.
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Applied Statistics for Health Care. (n.d.). Applied Statistics for Health Care; lc.gcumedia.com. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://lc.gcumedia.com/hlt362v/applied-statistics-for-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/1
Sir Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890) | LSHTM. (n.d.). LSHTM; www.lshtm.ac.uk. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/introducing/history/frieze/sir-edwin-chadwick
Today, statistics is applied in all sectors to show trends in the markets and to enhance the planning processes for the success of an organization. Statistics involves the analysis of collected data to inform the decision-making processes. Healthcare organizations mostly use statistics to show the trends in the emergence and spread of diseases, plan for the medical operation processes, and control the treatment processes, among other activities meant to increase efficiency in the healthcare system. There is always the need for healthcare systems to enhance care delivery and ensure effective patient outcomes. As a result, healthcare institutions often engage in numerous research processes. Besides, in the modern clinical setups, there is the application of evidence-based practices to enhance, diagnosis, treatments, and overall patient care.
Importance of Statistical Knowledge in Healthcare
The knowledge of statistics is used in the modeling processes to formulate the best treatment approaches that are essential for specific types of patients. Statisticians often rely on clinical data to predict and inform any possible variation in the treatment and patient management (Jahan et al., 2016). For instance, whenever there is a disease outbreak, as in the coronavirus case, clinical data collected can be used to determine the possible future trends and the number of resources that may be required to manage the situation. Statisticians may also model a system or program that may show the best precautions to take to reduce the spread of the diseases through the application of data collected. Different processes in the health care system rely on statistical data. For example, when writing a treatment or medication report, healthcare professionals often use the data that have been collected over a given period (Milic et al., 2016). As a result, healthcare professionals need to have basic or advanced knowledge in statistics to create meaningful reports and make statistically significant conclusions. The modern treatment models rely on statistical data. For instance, the development of artificial intelligence that can facilitate the medication process depends on the data and statistical trends in the healthcare system.
Before a research process is considered medically significant, it must always pass through the statistical tests to ensure that it is statistically significant. All the above processes require significant statistical knowledge to help in the accurate analysis of every scenario from study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation, and writing of a comprehensive medical report. Most of the medical research companies such as Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) depend on the statistical knowledge when it comes to drug trials, research on various diseases and study of the best medical interventions mechanisms that can lead to effective patient outcomes (Milic et al., 2016). As a result, there are always teams of epidemiologists and biostatisticians who have advanced knowledge in statistics, nature of diseases, and other healthcare activities. With the use of data in the treatment process, there is always the need for healthcare workers to show competency in healthcare informatics.
The application of statistics in the healthcare system is significant to quality improvement. To ensure efficiency in the healthcare system, there is always the need for healthcare professionals in collaboration with the researcher to carry out research to determine areas that require improvements. The use of data can, therefore, informs the ideal solution to the problems facing healthcare institutions. Therefore, the result of the clinical analysis can be used to improve the quality of care and the general treatment processes. Research processes may inform the safety measures, health promotion, and best leadership approaches that can best improve general care.
With the emergence of diseases and different complications in the healthcare settings, the provision of healthcare services often turn to be a challenge; as a result, there is always the need for healthcare professionals to identify the right strategies that can be used to improve the treatment outcome and the general safety. Therefore, statistical knowledge is required to undertake research using the clinical data available to determine the best strategies that can be used to deal with the increasing problems.
In my organization, given the introduction of technology and numerous research processes, I will mostly utilize statistics in almost all the activities, from data collection, clinical analysis, medical research, clinical reporting. The statistical knowledge will also be critical in the development of treatment and care models in line with the needs of the patients. In healthcare settings, the clinical data can be obtained from the databases. Also, in cases where there is the need to study health determinants within the communities, research models can be designed whereby data may be collected from the community members through surveys. Data analysis results are often used in the decision-making processes; they may be applied to inform quality improvement, tend in the operational processes, and the best treatment and care processes to be adopted.
All these medical approaches rely on the application of data. With the development of modern technologies in the healthcare system, data collection is usually done to ensure that patient’s records are well updated for further treatment processes. Patient’s data are usually collected from the point of admission to the time of discharge. All the above activities are statistical approaches that are meant to collect data to inform decision-making processes.
Jahan, S., Al-Saigul, A. M., & Suliman, A. A. (2016). Attitudes to statistics in primary health care physicians, Qassim province. Primary health care research & development, 17(4), 405-414.
Milic, N. M., Masic, S., Milin-Lazovic, J., Trajkovic, G., Bukumiric, Z., Savic, M., … & Ilic, A. (2016). The importance of medical students’ attitudes regarding cognitive competence for teaching applied statistics: multi-site study and meta-analysis. PLoS One, 11(10), e0164439.