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# Standard deviation, it is a measure of dispersion of the data

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As for standard deviation, it is a measure of dispersion of the data. How can that sort of measure be useful is a healthcare setting?

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Statistics allows us to measure varying data and score that data accordingly. Standard deviation is the square root of the variance.
Health care professionals rely on monitors that are programed with statistical formulas to track heart rates, oxygen, and other factors in their patients. "In the same way, statistical process control (SPC) can monitor the 'health' of patient care using two key clinical indicators: the patient's length of stay (LOS) and errors such as infection rates. It can also be used for operational indicators such as denied insurance claims." Using statistical process such as standard deviation in health care helps improve patient care and operations. In fact, standard deviation and other statistical measurements have been used in health care and charting for years. Health professionals would do the calculations and graphing (charting) by hand. Many mistakes were made and documented deaths were because of "human error". Software is now able to do the calculation for the health care professional.

Arthur, J. (2012) Statistical process for Health Care. Quality Digest. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from http://www.qualitydigest.com/june08/articles/03_article.shtml

The below web site gave detailed instruction on how to formulate your own Standard deviation as it applies to health care. It was a good read.
http://www.streck.com/resources/misc/Streck_Paper_QCforHematologyInstrumentation.pdf

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