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Use of Statistical Information

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Use of Statistical Information

Statistics, as defined by Bennett, Briggs and Triola (2003) "is the science that helps us understand how to collect, organize and interpret numbers or other information (data) about some topic," (pg. 2). Statistics is an essential component in the ultimate delivery of health care. Health care professionals no longer live in the mindset where procedures are done simply because they have always been done that way; rather the current trend is leaning towards evidence-based standards of care, including policies and procedures. The process and collection of data leads to implementation of practice which increase awareness of health care professionals thereby improving outcomes of the patients served.

Froedtert Hospital is a 492-bed, Level I Trauma Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (the only one in southeastern Wisconsin) and is associated with the Medical College of Wisconsin. In October 2006, it was designated as a Magnet facility. Froedtert Hospital has four Intensive Care Units (ICUs) including a Surgical ICU, Medical ICU, Cardiac ICU and Neuroscience ICU. Much research goes on daily to ensure quality patient care and guarantee to remain on the cutting edge.

The types of statistical information collected at Froedtert Hospital include mortality, length of stay (diagnosis-specific), financial, complications, diagnoses, as well as quality indicators including customer service, monthly turnover and vacancy rate and incident report data. Data related to the National 100,000 Lives Campaign continues to be gathered including information related to preventing central line infections, improved care for acute myocardial infarctions, preventing adverse drug events (medication reconciliation), preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia, rapid response teams and preventing surgical site infections. Disease-specific types of statistical information are also collected at Froedtert Hospital including those related to stroke. Stroke disease-specific care performance measures include: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis; patients being discharged on antithrombotics; patients with atrial fibrillation receiving anticoagulation therapy; Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA) considered; antithrombotic medication within 48 hours of hospitalization; lipid profile; screen for dysphagia; documented stroke education; smoking cessation, as needed; a plan for rehabilitation was considered. Ischemic stroke admissions versus hemorrhagic stroke admissions are monitored, as well as the rate male versus female ratio and the age factor.

There is also important statistical information that is not being collected that should be considered. Outcome Management Tools (OMTs) were developed to document the variance from expected outcomes. Once properly filled out, one can evaluate whether the intervention implemented made a difference in the outcome of the patient. Collecting and analyzing outcomes pertaining to specific patient populations would enable us to be at the forefront of evidence-based practice, to validate and impact clinical practice patterns. This presents other opportunities including the standardization of patient care across the country, translating research into practice and benchmarking and comparing outcomes to other institutions.

Clinical statistical information regarding families and psychosocial aspects might also be important data to be considered, particularly those family members of ICU patients, families of patients involved in a trauma and those who recently experienced a loss of a loved one. The data collected would assist health care providers in dealing with family members who are experiencing these situations and aid in referrals, if needed.

There are advantages of



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