Statistics: 40% are made up!
When you see a statistic, your first question should be…
“Where did they get that?“
The second question should be…
“How do I know that is accurate?“
Articles that provide statistics should provide a source and the source should provide a way to verify the statistic.
For example, where did my “40% of statistics are made up” statistic come from? I made it up! Now you know the source.
Here is a more difficult statistic to verify.
Joe Kiani, Founder and Chairman of the Patient Safety Movement, said that 273,077 lives had been saved by the efforts of 4,710 hospitals and 89 healthcare technology companies signing an open data pledge. These lives had been saved since the first Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit held in 2013.
However, by reading the press release, I couldn’t find a source of the statistic or a way to verify it.
Maybe he shared the source and his methods at the talk he gave … but it wasn’t in the press release.
Next, I would ask, does this statistic make sense? How does he measure a “life saved?”
There is no standard method across the USA for determining the number of lives lost due to medical errors, hospital acquired infections, and errors administering prescription medicine. Therefore, how would you know the exact number (273,077) of lives saved? Can you know the exact number of lives saved without knowing the number of lives lost?
Without an accurate measurement system, statistics are a guess. And a guess is not a good way to manage performance improvement efforts.
that is being held on March 11-12 (just before the 2019 Global TapRooT® Summit) discusses how to develop reactive performance measures and proactive performance indicators. Want to learn more? See this link: