For many health care professionals, statistics may seem to have little connection to patient care issues and concerns. However, statistics are useful allies in identifying effective treatments and understanding the overall health of a population.
Health care emphasizes research-based practice, using treatments which empirical evidence has demonstrated to be effective. This requires health care practitioners to understand statistics to make sense of research studies.
Knowledge of statistics helps medical professionals evaluate studies that assess the efficacy of treatments and interventions. It also equips practitioners to conduct studies of their own, further benefiting patient care.
In addition to providing scientific evidence that supports new medical advances, statistics in health care convey valuable information about the health of a society. The National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health points out that statistics enable medical professionals and public health officials to gauge the disparities in health conditions among members of a population.
Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.