It is challenging to overestimate the role of data in the healthcare industry. It is possible to analyze available information to improve the quality of care and reach better health outcomes. According to Balestracci (2019), “the role of statistics in quality improvement is to expose variation and to reduce inappropriate and unintended variation to make processes go right” (p. 162). In healthcare, there are six sources of inputs, including people, materials, methods, measurements, machines, and the environment (Balestracci, 2019). Each of these spheres produces data that medical professionals can collect and analyze to make particular decisions regarding patient care delivery or quality improvement. Consequently, one can stipulate that statistics helps make healthcare better and more efficient.
According to the information above, it is possible to mention that data tells the whole story. The rationale behind this statement is that the six discussed sources comprehensively analyze every situation. However, one should admit that the exclusive reliance on statistics is not sufficient for improving the healthcare industry. Balestracci (2019) highlights that “good critical thinking is the key to effective quality improvement” (p. 128). This statement denotes that people should use their knowledge and experience to ensure that data can be appropriately utilized to achieve the required outcomes.
As far as my opinion is concerned, I consider data a tool that medical professionals can use to improve the quality of care. In other words, statistics can only become effective when experienced and skillful individuals use it, while people without the required expertise fail to benefit from the data. That is why it is rational that healthcare organizations and the entire industry should invest in training and educating healthcare professionals to ensure that these individuals have the necessary knowledge to use data.
Balestracci, D. (2019). Statistical tools for quality improvement. In D. Nash (Ed.), The healthcare quality book: Vision, strategy, and tools (4th ed., pp. 127-169).