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Nursing Resources: Health Statistics

Health Sciences Librarian

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Shannon Johnson
she/her/hers
Contact:
Associate Librarian
(260) 267-6502

National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Finding and Using Health Statistics Online Course

"This course describes the range of available health statistics, identifies their sources and helps you understand how to use information about their structure as you search."

How to Use and FInd Health Stats

One of the most difficult aspects of using health statistics is accepting that not everything you’d like a statistic on is actually available on the web.  In some cases there may not be anyone collecting the data.  In other cases, the data may be collected, but it is not being reported in a way you can use.  Another problem with statistics is that it can take a long time to analyze and compile the data.  Often you will find there is a significant lag between when the data is collected and when it is disseminated in published form.  You are unlikely to find data for this year, for example. 

When using the listed resources, keep in mind the following strategy:

1. Keep geography in mind. If you are looking for information on only Indiana, start with state resources not the United Nations.

2.  Start broadly.  If you are looking for the number of teens that die each year in alcohol induced auto accidents, start by looking at mortality rates and see if there is a way to narrow to cause and age.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If you are having trouble locating a health statistic, please contact us. We’d love to help! Our contact information is on the right hand side of the page.

Steps in Search for Health Statistics

 

Taken from: National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/steps_in_successful_search_diagram.html  Accessed Nov. 23, 2010. 

There are five major kinds of sources of health statatics:

  • Population surveys—developed during the 20th century—now provide a large body of information
  • Surveys of providers—such as physicians, hospitals and nursing homes—are also an important source of information.
  • Vital statistics—drawn from the records of births, deaths, marriages and divorces—facilitate detailed analyses of particular conditions
  • Registers of diseases—such as cancer and AIDS—show the incidence, prevalence and outcomes of these threats.
  • Administrative records—such as those compiled during a hospital stay or at outpatient clinics or physician’s offices—provide another perspective.

Taken from: National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/sources.html  Accessed Nov. 23, 2010. 

Process of Collecting Health Statistics

Chart

Chart Discriptions: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/chart_description.html

Taken from: National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/chart.html  Accessed Nov. 23, 2010. 

NN/LM Health Statistics Guide

The Health Statistics and Numerical Data subject guide includes some of the major sources of health and general statistics in the United States and a brief list of international resources.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/Subject_Guides/healthstatistics/

Health, United States 2012 Cover

Health, United States is an annual report on trends in health statistics.

Indiana

United States

International