Descriptive Statistics is a term given to the analysis of data that helps describe, data in a meaningful way such a way that patterns can emerge from the data but simply it is a way to describe the data (Lund, 2013). Venkataraman (2015) uses a descriptive statistics to acquired data on ownership type and experiential quality measures, data on control variables such as resident-to-patients ratio, operating disproportionate share hospital adjustment, estimated operating outlier payments as a percentage of the provider’s federal operating PPS payments, case mix index (CMI), and location (rural, large urban, or other urban) and data on hospital characteristics such as average number of staffed beds, productive hours of registered nurses for hospital services, total discharges, total patient days, and total operating expenses.
Measures of Variability
Measure of Variability is the guide for the range, median and mean of datasets. The extent of the results of the measures for example on the range it will provide the difference between the lowest and highest values in the dataset. According to Wright & Lake what inferential statistics do is to take the variability and size of the sample and predict how frequently differences of various sizes will occur by chance. It is important to be able to understand statistics so that in healthcare the ability to interpreted the validity and usefulness of the research (Baker, et. al. 2014).

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Between the descriptive and the inferential the factors that influence the choice of the statistical test is the type of study and how much data is involved in the study. Inferential helps determine the strength between the variables, whereas the descriptive will summarize data by determining how spread out the scores are.

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    (2014) Statistics for the emergency nurses, Journal of Emergency Nursing, 40(3),
  • Inferential Statistics: What are they? When would you use them? (n.d.) Retrieved from
  • Lund Research (2013) Descriptive and Inferential Statistics, retrieved from
  • Venkataraman, S. (2015) Cost-quality tradeoff in healthcare: Does it affect patient experience, The Quality Management Journal, 22(3), 38-45
  • Wright, L.L. & Lake, D. A. Chapter 2 Interpreting inferential statistics, retrieved from