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[ANSWERED 2023] Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care

Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care.

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

Topic 1 DQ 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.

Topic 1 DQ 2:

Discuss why it is important for a person working in health care to understand statistical concepts. Provide an example of how statistical data is used in your organization or specialty area today and what you are expected to do with this information as a practitioner.

Expert Answer and Explanation

 Topic 1 DQ 1: Historical Application

It is difficult to have epidemiology research that does not constitute tables, odds ratio, or p-value. Statistics and mathematical methods are significant in the assessment of data as they help in the identification of causes of disease, modes of transmission, preventive measures, and the appropriate control mechanism (Stroup, & Lyerla, 2011). In history, the use of statistics in health care can be evidenced by the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) when it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. The change of the name meant that the institution was broadening its scope of services.

The expansion increased the opportunities for the institution to utilize the contribution of statistics and engineering methods in health care (Stroup, & Lyerla, 2011). For instance, the CDC, in conjunction with the National Center for Health Statistics, carried out the first-ever National Health Assessment and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which helped to the development of the model to predict the amount of lead in human blood.

William Farr – His Role in Healthcare

The United States Public Health Service adopted statistical methods developed by several scientists to form the current CDC. For instance, CDC borrowed the use of statistical induction to examine death rates by William Farr’s (Beyersmann, & Schrade, 2017). Farr is a major personality in the health care sector, which is a contribution to the history of epidemiology having in the industry for more than 30 years, examining the statistics of death and disease.

He came up with the nosology – disease classification framework- which was the predecessors of the current International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (Beyersmann, & Schrade, 2017). The diseases are applying his statistical insights into the tool to monitor and classify the leading cause of injuries and death with the bid to promote coherent international compatibility in terms of reporting of health data.


Beyersmann, J., & Schrade, C. (2017). Florence Nightingale, William Farr and competing risks. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society)180(1), 285-293. DOI: 10.1111/rssa.12187

Stroup, D. F., & Lyerla, R. (2011). History of statistics in public health at CDC 1960–2010: the rise of statistical evidence. Public health then and now: celebrating50. Retrieved 4 May 2020, from

Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care. Describe an example, other than Florence Nightingale's contributions

Topic 1 DQ 2: Understanding Statistical Concepts in Health Care

With the changing of medical practice and delivery of care, there is a need for people working in the healthcare sector to have statistical knowledge (Aggarwal, 2018). Currently, the medical sector is transforming into an industry player that makes use of data to infer solutions. Statistics, through quantitative research, helps in shaping research makers with key numerical data retrieved from observations or measurements that best describe the characteristic of a specific population sample.

Based on descriptive statistics, the health care industry can best summarize the efficacy, cost, and utility of medical services and products (Aggarwal, 2018). For instance, the understanding of the prevalence of a given disease can be understood using statistical details to provide its relationship with the causative factors.

In my organization, there is the implementation of evidence-based practice with many nurses encourages us to understand how to come up with proper PICOT questions (Butler, Hall, & Copnell, 2016). Evidence-based practice makes use of statistical correlation to understand the best more of care that a patient who exhibits a certain set of characters can be given.

Not only does the practice help in the provision of quality care, but also in the provision of quality management services and support due to enhanced decision making. As practitioners, the expectation is that we be able to interpret the information retrieved from the statistical data and use it to offer better and informed care.

The end goal of using evidence practice is to maximize the overall positive patient outcomes (Butler, Hall, & Copnell, 2016). Similarly, the practice ensures that most patients attain high levels of patient satisfaction, and the number of medical errors is also minimized. In this manner, statistics have a close relationship with overall patient care concerns and issues.


Aggarwal, R. (2018). Statistical literacy for healthcare professionals: Why is it important? Annals of cardiac anaesthesia21(4), 349. Doi: 10.4103/aca.ACA_177_18

Butler, A., Hall, H., & Copnell, B. (2016). A guide to writing a qualitative systematic review protocol to enhance evidence‐based practice in nursing and health care. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing13(3), 241-249. Doi: 10.1111/wvn.12134

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10 uses of health statistics

  1. Monitoring public health: Health statistics can be used to track the prevalence and incidence of diseases and health conditions in a population, allowing public health officials to identify trends and patterns and develop targeted interventions.
  2. Evaluating health interventions: Health statistics can be used to assess the effectiveness of health interventions, including medical treatments, public health campaigns, and policy changes.
  3. Allocating resources: Health statistics can help policymakers and health officials determine how to allocate resources, such as funding for medical research, public health programs, and healthcare facilities.
  4. Identifying health disparities: Health statistics can be used to identify disparities in health outcomes between different demographic groups, such as by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
  5. Planning healthcare services: Health statistics can inform decisions about the need for healthcare services and the types of services required, such as the number of hospital beds or the availability of specialized medical equipment.
  6. Assessing health risks: Health statistics can help identify environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to poor health outcomes, such as exposure to pollution, tobacco use, and poor nutrition.
  7. Conducting epidemiological research: Health statistics are a vital source of data for epidemiological research, which seeks to understand the causes and distribution of diseases in populations.
  8. Informing public policy: Health statistics can be used to inform public policy decisions on issues such as healthcare reform, vaccination policies, and health education campaigns.
  9. Supporting medical research: Health statistics can be used to identify research gaps and areas of need in medical research, as well as to track the progress of ongoing research.
  10. Predicting future health needs: Health statistics can be used to make projections about future health needs and trends, allowing health officials to plan and prepare for changing healthcare demands.

7 importance of statistics in nursing

  1. Monitoring patient outcomes: Statistics can be used to track patient outcomes, including mortality rates, readmission rates, and infection rates, allowing nurses to identify areas for improvement and make evidence-based decisions.
  2. Evaluating nursing interventions: Statistics can be used to assess the effectiveness of nursing interventions, including medication management, wound care, and patient education.
  3. Informing clinical decision-making: Statistics can provide nurses with important information on patient risk factors, comorbidities, and disease prevalence, which can help guide clinical decision-making.
  4. Identifying health disparities: Statistics can be used to identify disparities in health outcomes among different patient populations, allowing nurses to tailor care to individual patients’ needs.
  5. Improving patient safety: Statistics can be used to identify areas where patient safety can be improved, such as reducing medication errors or preventing hospital-acquired infections.
  6. Conducting research: Statistics are essential to conducting nursing research, including studies on patient outcomes, nursing interventions, and the impact of healthcare policies.
  7. Contributing to quality improvement: Statistics can be used to track performance metrics and quality improvement initiatives, allowing nurses to make data-driven decisions that improve patient care and outcomes.

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