Statistics Basics: A Resource Guide for Healthcare Managers

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Statistics Basics: A Resource Guide for Healthcare Managers

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Statistics Basics: A Resource Guide for Healthcare Managers

Collecting statistics for the first time?

Start with the basics…

Expert, how-to guidance on collecting and presenting meaningful data
Statistics Basics: A Resource Guide for Healthcare Managers is a book and CD-ROM package that can serve as a primer for any healthcare manager embarking on the daunting task of collecting and compiling meaningful data.

Author Jennifer Cowel, former surveyor and manager of The Joint Commission’s ORYX Core Measure program, provides expert guidance on how to identify, compile, analyze, and present statistics to measure performance or validate various quality improvement strategies.

“We’re supposed to be caring for patients, not gathering data. Why do we need to do this?”
Statistics are an integral part of high-quality healthcare today—and will be even more crucial to your job in the future.  With new initiatives such as pay-for-performance and public reporting on the horizon, healthcare facilities are under increasing pressure to provide valid and useful statistical information.

Here are the facts:

  • Certain Joint Commission standards require hospitals to gather quality data and analyze their findings.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services, and state agencies are using statistics to measure the quality of care at your facility and compare your data with other organizations, both locally and nationwide.

“I don’t have a statistics background.  Will I understand these concepts?”

Most healthcare managers responsible for creating statistics didn’t major in math. In down-to-earth language and an easy-to-reference format, Statistics Basics outlines the most essential information you need.

If you’re just getting started, this guide offers:

  • Explanations of basic statistics concepts in plain English
  • Which statistics are useful and which are not
  • How to understand and assess the statistical data of others
  • How to collect and present your own data in valuable ways
  • Practical tips and strategies to gain buy-in from key staff  and leaders

“How is Statistics Basics different from other stats resources?”

There are other, more academic, guides to statistics. However, few are devoted entirely to healthcare, and even fewer address statistics’ role in compliance and specific initiatives. Statistics Basics does.

Not abstract or theoretical, Statistics Basics: A Resource Guide for Healthcare Managers is a user-friendly tool, created from real-world knowledge and experience. It’s full of practical examples and easy-to-use tools and techniques that address a variety of healthcare-specific needs.

  • Learn from the “how to” section included for each topic.
  • Discover how solid statistics are vital to performance improvement initiatives.
  • See practical examples of statistics in action in your field, and learn step-by-step how to use them to improve quality and compliance.
  • Use the functional sample files, charts, graphs, and statistical tools on the companion CD-ROM for practice, or as a starting point for your own data presentations.
  • Gain the confidence to present and speak with authority about your statistical analysis.

Statistics Basics
makes it easy
Each chapter of this resource includes common problems encountered, checklists, charts, sample data, and suggestions for how you can accomplish these activities using tools and software you have already, such as Microsoft Excel.

The CD-ROM includes clear instructions and working samples to get you started. Get the know-how you need to produce quality data and improve performance with Statistics Basics!


Chapter 1:
Getting started
Chapter 2:
Data collection
Chapter 3:
Data aggregation and display
Chapter 4:
Data analysis
Chapter 5:
Drawing conclusions and planning next steps
Additional resources

About the Author

Jennifer K. Cowel, RN, MHSA, is a vice president with Patton Healthcare Consulting, LLC. Prior to joining Patton Healthcare Consulting, Ms. Cowel held a variety of leadership and management roles during more than 17 years with The Joint Commission. Her work included Standards Improvement Initiatives, implementation and testing of Shared Visions—New Pathways®, and the creation of management tools and a paperless tracking system for the 10,000 accreditation reports produced each year. Ms. Cowel also worked in The Joint Commission’s ORYX program, and managed the introduction of Core Measures into Joint Commission–accredited hospitals and integration of core measures into the accreditation process. In addition, she developed and directed the launch of The Joint Commission’s Network Accreditation Program and directed the multimillion-dollar Agenda for Change initiative, which resulted in streamlined standards and a redesigned accreditation survey.

Published: May 2007