Healthcare Research refers to empirical investigations which will help improve the health of people within the population. For example, those concerned with public or population health may refer to Health Status Reports, which provide an overview of the health of the population under study. These Health Reports are used for planning and monitoring within the community. However, in order to generate these Health Reports, research must first be conducted by measuring specific values of health and then analyzing and evaluating them.
For example, we can compare two mortality rates between two different countries. We can measure deaths by collecting and counting death certificates. Country 1 had 126 deaths within a population of 1600, while Country 2 had 90 deaths in the same number of people. This gives the mortality rate to be 78.5 deaths/1000 people in Country 1, and 56.25 deaths/1000 people in Country 2. At first glance it may seem that Country 1 is a riskier place to live; however this cannot be confirmed without doing the statistical analyses, as it does not account for confounding factors, such as age.
If Country 1 had much older people, then it would make sense that the mortality rate is higher, although it still does not reflect the risk. If this were the case, then we can use the research method of direct standardization to compare the two populations by adjusting for age specific rates. Once adjusted to reflect the risk, depending on how much older the population in Country 1 is, it may in fact be a safer place than country 2.
Thus, it can be seen that research measurements as well as analysis are extremely important for the generation of health reports, which attempts to provide an overview of the health of the population.