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HLT 362 Topic 1 DQ 1

DQ 1: Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care

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.



Health Statistics provide information for understanding, monitoring, improving, and planning the use of resources to improve people’s lives, provide services and promote their well-being. Statistics are used in healthcare for research, quality improvement, inequalities in healthcare, risk analysis, inventory management and cost, resource utilization, patient length of stay, patient satisfaction, clinical trials, morbidity and mortality, effects of new treatments, measuring change, laboratory analysis, education, and much more.

Statistics have been utilized in healthcare since at least the 19th century. Florence Nightingale used a statistical approach to decrease the mortality rate of British troops in Crimea. Her meticulous records were a key to present-day statistical quality measurement, and she was an innovator in the collection, tabulation, interpretation, and graphical display of descriptive statistics. She named her visual data display a “Coxcomb,” known today as a pie- chart (Sheingold & Hahn, 2014). Clara Barton applied the same analysis in the United States during the Civil War.

Louis Pasteur applied statistics in his research of microbes and the “germ theory” to create penicillin. This evidence led to the wide-scale adoption of antiseptic practices by physicians and hospitals throughout Europe and eventually in the U.S. Pasteur’s research also led to the development of “pasteurization,” which utilizes heat to destroy harmful microbes in perishable food while leaving the food undamaged (Sheingold & Hahn, 2014).

Dr. Rupert Blue was responsible for providing leadership in America during the worst disease outbreak in U.S. history. The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 killed fifty (50) million or 1/5 of the world’s population, representing more people than died during World War I. During the Influenza Pandemic, Dr. Blue’s quality tools were quarantine, mandatory medical exams for all immigrants entering the country, communication in the form of weekly newsletters that contained information about the latest outbreaks, and the results of influenza research conducted at the Hygienic Laboratory which continues to exist today (Sheingold & Hahn, 2014).

The medical records during the 1918 influenza pandemic inform how we should respond to a similar widespread outbreak of biological disease and provide data on the long-term effects of the flu on a pregnant woman.


Sheingold, B. H., Hahn, J. A. (2014). The history of healthcare quality: The first 100 years 1860- 1960. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences. Vol. 1. Pages 18 – 22. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijans.2014.05.002


Hi Irene,

In 1992, Anderson and May published Infectious Disease of Humans, documenting their work in mathematical modeling transmission of infectious diseases, which was critically important to understanding the ongoing work in fighting the global HIV epidemic, as well as malaria and tuberculosis. Subsequent work on modeling diseases has been used to monitor and model the impact of influenza outbreaks. During the 1990s, laboratory techniques improved enough so that strains of viruses could be mapped and links made to the epidemiologic investigation.



Anderson RM, May RM. Infectious diseases of humans: dynamics and control. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1992.



In 1946 the CDC was established. At this time, they borrowed statistic methods that were established by Florence Nightingale and Edwin Chadwick who had established these while studying sanitary measures in London (Donna F. Stroup & Rob Lyerla, 2011). Along with William Farr who was analyzing death rates, Karl Pearson was studying goodness-of-fit and correlation methods, and Bradford Hill developing the guidelines for establishing casual relationships. During the 1950’s, the CDC focused on the work of sanitarians and lab scientists. Soon, they began to study outbreaks of disease.

Donna F. Stroup, P., & Rob Lyerla, P. (2011, October 7). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Retrieved from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6004a7.htm

Read Also: DQ 2: According to the textbook, nurses in various settings are adopting a research-based (or evidence-based) practice that incorporates research findings into their decisions and interactions with clients

HLT 362 Topic 1 DQ 1

HLT 362 Topic 1 DQ 1

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS:DQ 1: Discuss the historical application of statistics in the field of health care


Statistics is a significant element in healthcare today. Various medical assessments rely heavily on statistics to gather crucial data for enhancing care provision. For instance, statistical measurements like temperature, body mass index, and respiratory rates are used to diagnose various illnesses. Moreover, statistical analyses are carried out on data in electronic health records to identify health issues and plan to address them (Sharples, 2018). Statistical application of healthcare began with the creation of the Royal Statistical Society in 1834, with one of the pioneers of nursing, Florence Nightingale, being a member (CDC, 2011). The health body carried out statistical analysis to understand the epidemiology of diseases and enhance the field of public health. Florence Nightingale and the Royal Statistical Society contributed to the utilization of statistical evidence in healthcare. Statistical evidence was used to identify the reasons for significant death rates and to make informed decisions to improve healthcare provision.

Besides Florence Nightingale, who contributed significantly to the application of statistics in healthcare, other people have contributed to its advancement and utilization. According to CDC (2011), Alexandar Langmuir, a leader of the Center for Disease Control in 1961, emphasized the collection of data and applying the data in healthcare through public health surveillance. Another significant statistical contribution was made by Carl Norden. According to CDC (2011), Carl Norden was the first healthcare professional to implement the t-test in research when carrying out an epidemic-assistance investigation. In the modern-day, health researchers have significantly utilized the t-test in hypothesis testing when carrying out research. James Bryan also contributed to the use of the pie chart in representing data during research. He carried out an epidemic-assistance investigation that utilized data collection through public surveillance, as emphasized by Alexander Langmuir, and utilized the pie chart to portray the data. These contributions have significantly changed healthcare since they have advanced research to enhance the investigation of various health concerns and develop solutions.


CDC. (2011). History of statistics in public health at CDC, 1960-2010: The rise of statistical evidence. History of Statistics in Public Health at CDC, 1960–2010: the Rise of Statistical Evidence

Sharples, L. D. (2018). The role of statistics in the era of big data: Electronic health records for healthcare research. Statistics & Probability Letters, 136, 105-110.

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