HLT 362 Discuss why it is important for a person working in health care to understand statistical concepts

HLT 362 Discuss why it is important for a person working in health care to understand statistical concepts

HLT 362 Discuss why it is important for a person working in health care to understand statistical concepts

Health statistics comprises of data that give an information of a descriptive summary about health. This statistical data together with statistical concepts are important in the following ways elaborated below to person working in healthcare.

Health care providers use statistical data to monitor trends as well as the conditions in a local area and make a comparison with other geographical area as well as nationwide or globally; this helps to easily monitor the possible risks causing a certain condition or affecting people of a certain age using the data collected.

Statistical data analyzed in the healthcare facility enable in fair public and private fund allocation together with determining how and where research efforts should be centralized at most at an individual level or across.

Statistical questionnaire by a person in a healthcare setting help patients be satisfied with their care and this trigger them having the urge of follow-up as well supervision and this as well help practitioners or caregivers to have a better understanding of the patient information therefore effective treatment.

Statistics is important at an individual level in healthcare for it aids in making important critical decisions and opinions basing data as the determinant and this can be of help when critically assessing the quality of analyses presented by others. Statistics enable one to analyze and figure out claims basing them on quantitative evidence, and this enable one to find a difference between dubious and reasonable facts which is an important aspect in data interpretation that is presented by people from motived which are unknown.

HLT 362 Discuss why it is important for a person working in health care to understand statistical concepts
HLT 362 Discuss why it is important for a person working in health care to understand statistical concepts

Statistical help is required for individual decision making for we live in a world of information and for one to be well informed, accurate and correct statistical concepts are required at an individual level.

Some Examples in real life are:

Practitioners predict diseases basing results on statistical concepts. Where one example is a survey showing approximately 80% of patients have cancer from a local geographical area, statistical skills and data analysis when involved may determine the effects of cancer in the body and a conclusion may be drawn that smoking is the major reason as to why cancer cases are popular in a certain region.

Practitioners also use statistics such as in the current pandemic of COVID-19 disease and have been giving a conclusion after analyzing statistical data that the most affected persons to a point of death are individuals having chronic diseases and the aged peoples. This has enabled in creating awareness and informing of the precautionary measures to be taken thoroughly most by the ones having chronic diseases.


Barbara A. Bartkowiak, George E. Magnin Medical Library, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Marsh, J. (2020, April 4). 10 awesome reasons why statistics are important. Medium. https://medium.com/@john_marsh7/10-awesome-reasons-why-statistics-are-important-96b87e283640

STATISTICS IMPROVES HEALTH CARE. (n.d.). American Statistical Association (ASA). https://www.amstat.org/asa/files/pdfs/StatSig/StatSigHealthCare.pdf

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It is essential for a person working in healthcare to understand statistical concepts.  Statistical analysis helps healthcare providers find correlations between entities.  Statistical data helps providers, such as nurses,  understand trends in patient care, improve outcomes and develop evidence-based practice (EBP).  (Helbig & Ambrose, 2018) EBP is important to nurses all over the world to create guidelines and implementation to improve their skills and knowledge using research-based strategies.  Alqahtani et al., 2019)  

I work in an adult Acute Rehabilitation unit.  We frequently have patients with severe Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) who have extended hospital stays.  Some of our TBI patients stay on our unit for 5-6 weeks so their hospital stays from admission into the ER to discharge can be over two months.  These patients have a higher risk of acquiring venous thromboembolisms (VNEs).  Statical data can be used in the unit to track and monitor occurrences of TBI patients who acquire VNE or PEs related to immobilization, length of stay, and types of anticoagulants used.    (Zhang et al., 2020)

For some reason, my department does not utilize this type of data on a staff nurse level which is unfortunate but I do plan on being able to create a study on the unit I work at after I take this class and learn more about EBP development.  I would assume that I need permission to access files or work with the manager to determine how to obtain and analyze data from our patients.  I would be able to use this type of information to determine correlations which can then be used to decrease the occurrence of VNEs/PEs with TBI patients.


Alqahtani, N., Oh, K. M., Kitsantas, P., & Rodan, M. (2019). Nurses’ evidence‐based practice knowledge, attitudes and implementation: A cross‐sectional study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(1-2), 274–283. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15097

Helbig, J., & Ambrose, J. (2018). Applied Statistics for Health Care. Gcumedia.com. https://lc.gcumedia.com/hlt362v/applied-statistics-for-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/1

Zhang, M., Parikh, B., Dirlikov, B., Cage, T., Lee, M., & Singh, H. (2020). Elevated risk of venous thromboembolism among post-traumatic brain injury patients requiring pharmaceutical immobilization. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 75, 66–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.03.028

Quantitative research guides healthcare decision-makers with statistics–numerical data collected from measurements or observations that describe the characteristics of specific population samples. Descriptive statistics summarize the utility, efficacy, and costs of medical goods and services. Increasingly, healthcare organizations employ statistical analysis to measure their performance outcomes. Hospitals and other large provider service organizations implement data-driven, continuous quality improvement programs to maximize efficiency. Government health and human service agencies gauge the overall health and well-being of populations with statistical information.

The need for statistics in medicine extends beyond research – into daily clinical practice. Every patient-physician encounter is imbued with statistics – although we usually fail to recognize this. For a man presenting to an emergency room with chest pain, several diagnoses are possible. The brain of a trained physician combines several elements of history and clinical findings to arrive at one or a few diseases that are highly likely in him, a few that are possible but less likely, and several that are highly unlikely. His brain then matches this list of diagnoses with performance characteristics – such as sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values – of various diagnostic tests, to select a few tests that are most likely to be helpful. And then follows the choice of treatment that is most likely to succeed. Each of these steps involves the use of statistical principles – such as the probability theory; and Bayes’ theorem. All this happens imperceptibly. However, a physician who understands the principles underlying this process can be expected to do better – just like an engineer who does not merely use a machine but also understands how it works.

Healthcare providers strive to produce valuable goods and services efficiently. Statistics are essential to healthcare companies in measuring performance success or failure. Nurses, on the other hand, require a basic knowledge of statistics to be able to translate, grasp; and interpret application literature in order for proof treatment to become well in the healthcare field. Furthermore, new information aimed at improving patient care is constantly being developed, which ensures that student nurses must continue to learn well after they begin practicing.


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Scott, I., & Mazhindu, D. (2014). Statistics for healthcare professionals: An introduction. Sage.

Ranganathan P, Aggarwal R. Common pitfalls in statistical analysis: Understanding the properties of diagnostic tests-part 1. Perspect Clin Res. 2018;9:40–3.  

It is important for a person in healthcare to understand statistical concepts because it helps with patient care and improvement of the healthcare system overall. Understanding statistical concepts can be like making sure an infant comes for a well-checkup and the infant is in the 85th percentile of the weight chart for their age group, the nurse or healthcare provider would know the baby is overweight by applying simple statistics. With these findings, healthcare professionals can communicate to the family the importance and risks the infant takes being overweight, how to prevent it from further happening, and how to possibly reverse it. This in turn, will help with the infant overall health and prevent complications. One example of statistical data used in my hospital is the hospital acquired catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). “Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) represent approximately 9% of all hospital acquired infections, and approximately 65%–70% of CAUTIs are believed to be preventable” (Van Decker, Bosch, & Murphy, 2021). My unit likes to keep track of CAUTIs and other preventable infections, to help further prevent them. Statistics has been shown that our Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bath wipes helps prevent and reduce the number of CAUTIs that are hospital acquired. CHG wipes are an antiseptic that is fast acting and can help reduce infection (Princeton Medical Center. (n.d). If we are given a patient with a foley, PICC line, central line, etc., we are given the task to perform a CHG bath on these patients to help reduce the number of infections. Our manager checks every day on these patients to ensure they received the proper care, and it was documented properly. 


Princeton Medical Center . (n.d.). Chlorhexidine gluconate cloths. PennMedicine . Retrieved February 2, 2023, from https://www.med.upenn.edu/uphscovid19education/assets/user-content/documents/curricula/pmph-nursing/chg-wipes-medline.pdf 

Van Decker, S. G., Bosch, N., & Murphy, J. (2021, December). Catheter-associated urinary tract infection reduction in Critical Care Units: A bundled care model. BMJ open quality. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8705224/ 

Statistical literacy is especially important in the profession of healthcare as so much of what we do is dependent on numbers and the patterns or “trends” of those numbers. Clinicians collet numerical data to monitor a person’s current condition, determine the treatment needed, and assess that treatment’s effectiveness. An example of what this may look like is drawing blood from a person who is feeling lightheaded, testing that blood, and realizing that the person’s hemoglobin is low which indicates a blood transfusion. The blood is transfused and follow up labs are drawn which show that the hemoglobin level is now within defined limits proving the intervention achieved its desired purpose. Naturally, there are many other reasons why statistical data is important in healthcare and why it is essential that healthcare workers familiarize themselves with the concept. Healthcare and statistics go hand in hand since they are both concerned with the collection, analyzation, interpretation, and presentation of data. From a clinical standpoint, all of this data is used to improve the health and condition of patients and predict long term outcomes (Batko, 2022).

In my specialty, which is cardiac and pulmonary nursing, I use statistics each day, even when I am not thinking about it. My unit always sees a lot of congestive heart failure and I use numerical data to stay current on my patient’s condition with this diagnosis. For CHF, daily weights are collected to monitor how much fluid a patient is retaining and if diuretics are needed. With diuretics, we monitor intake and output as well as potassium levels depending on the type of diuretic used. Abnormal potassium levels can cause a whole problem set on its own, which is why it is vital to closely monitor this condition. Even the simplest conditions are very complex as the body tries to maintain its homeostasis. As we can see, quantitative literacy is needed in all aspects of nursing from medication calculations to caring for patients with very complex cases that require an advanced understanding of pathophysiology, sickness, and wellness (Steinberg, 2022).


Batko, K. (2022, January 6). The use of Big Data Analytics in Healthcare – Journal of Big Data. SpringerOpen. https://journalofbigdata.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40537-021-00553-4

Steinberg, D. (2022, April 26). How nurses can benefit from Statistical Knowledge. College of Public Health. https://cph.temple.edu/about/news-events/news/how-nurses-can-benefit-statistical-knowledge#:~:text=They%20need%20quantitative%20literacy%20for,to%20scholarship%20in%20their%20fields.

Understanding statistical concepts in health care is as important as understanding the ways in which medication works in the body. Statistical data is the guiding evidence by which interventions and practice are based and is used to scientifically inform the decision-making process. While the role of statistical concepts is often associated with research, the application into clinical practice is just as important. It is the role of the practitioner to accurately and concisely evaluate the validity of data analysis and recognize trends in order to promote stronger models of care within practice. Medical practice is just that, practice, and as such requires continual re-assessment and modification to improve and provide best outcomes for the patient population (Helbig & Ambrose, 2021). 

An example of the application of statistical analysis in the emergency department is the trending of data points to promote early identification of sepsis, thereby alerting both the provider and nursing to staff to utilize the sepsis protocol if not already implemented. Data points chosen for this protocol are specific to a systemic inflammatory response and include: temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, white blood cell count and/or neutrophils, and arterial carbon dioxide levels. Upon recognition of increase trends in these data points, it is the role of the nurse to not only alert the provider, but to also activate the appropriate sepsis bundle order set. This order set most commonly consists of drawing two sets of blood cultures and a lactate prior to the initiation of antibiotics within an hour of admission, then beginning fluid resuscitation and checking another lactate level after an hour (Threatt, 2020). Continuing to trend these data points then allows the entire health care team to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and adjust accordingly.


Helbig, J. & Ambrose, J. (2021). What are statistics and why are they important to health science? In Grand Canyon University (Ed.), Applied statistics for health care (ch.1). https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/1000000000581/epub/Chapter1.html#page_6

Threatt, D. L. (2020). Improving Sepsis Bundle Implementation Times: A Nursing Process Improvement Approach. Journal of Nursing Care Quality35(2), 135–139. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000430