Statistical thinking


Pharmacy justlike other businesses experiences challenges that may interfere withnormal business processes and activities leading to poor performanceor even closure in severe cases. Some of the challenges includeinaccurate prescription dealing with increasing demand for adviceand information deciding how best to supervise dispensing and thesale of medicine by staff working in partnership with otherprofessions and provision of special care among many others. HMO’spharmacy experiences challenge in eliminating prescription inaccuracythat has been identified as a thread to the performance and existenceof the pharmacy. They employees in the pharmacy have been focusing onprediction of inaccuracy, but the manager is not impressed with it ashe wants no more of the inaccurate prescription. There is poorcommunication from the manager, Juan, has raised this issue to Ben,an assistant at the pharmacy. The manager wants development of a planon how they can address the problem effectively using statisticalthinking. In addition to this, he proposes process map and SIPOCmodel in the identification of the root causes of the trials they areexperiencing.


The inaccuracyprescription experienced at the pharmacy can be resolved through theuse of statistical reasoning and thinking. andreasoning can be described as the use of statistical tools andconcepts to summarize, predict using and draw conclusions from data.Statistical data collected from a given period concerning theincidences of prescription inaccuracy are collected and used topredict and resolve the issues affecting the hospital. The managerand Ben can provide reasons find root causes and justifications ofthe interplay between the key factors associated with the identifiedproblem. They will be able to apply the most appropriate approach onhow they can eliminate inaccurate prescription. is not context-free as the problem identified in subjective i.e.dependent (Kayne, S. B. 2005).

Throughstatistical thinking, Juan will be able to acquire and interpret dataappropriately will using the information acquired in initiating thesuitable action in eliminating inaccurate interpretation.Communication-based approach failed in solving the problem sincethere were miscommunication and assumptions existing between doctors,pharmacists, assistant pharmacist and managers. Transmission ofinformation between the above individual was not effective henceinterpretation and use of the information became difficult resultingin the inaccuracy in the prescriptions. willenable the management to evaluate the process based on data insteadof the past experiences and perceptions of process communicatedbetween the individuals involved (Ben-Zvi, D., &amp Garfield, J.2005).

In order to makeprescriptions, there are certain processes that are necessary and arethey have the following characteristics: they are interrelatedvariations exist in the processes and understanding and avoidingdissimilarity are required for effectiveness (Campbell, S. K. 2012).According to Andersen, B., &amp Galloway, D. (2008), process mappinginvolves five major steps: problem definition, insight development,and decision making and lastly implementing corrective actions.Process map enables understanding of the interconnectedness ofprocesses and sub-processes associated with the problem. Beforebeginning the whole process, Juan should create a team ofindividuals, probably 5, who will be responsible for resolving theproblem. They should people who are affected by the processes andoutcome. In problem definition, the team should describe the problemin details and ensure that all aspects of the problem are covered inthe description. Then they come up objectives at the end of thisactivity.

Development ofinsight, the second step, is enhanced by data on the inaccurateprescription of drugs in the pharmacy. This is the stage where theroot causes are identified and their present and future impact on thepharmacy defined (Fry, H. M. 2008). SIPOC model can be used to helpin the development of insight as enhances the definition of outputs(prescription), customers (patients) inputs of the process, suppliersand sub-processes that make up the process. Inputs are tangiblethings that initiate the process, and they include diagnosticresults, doctor’s prescription, etc. The suppliers are theindividuals who avail the inputs of the process. Suppliers andcustomers may be the same person i.e. in this case patients arecustomers and suppliers at the same time as they provide doctors withinformation about their health, and it is them who receive theoutput. Doctors supply pharmacists and their assistants withprescription about the drugs to be administered to the patients. Thequality of information from the doctors influences how well thepharmacists interpret them and use them to give the patient medicine.The people involved as well as their responsibilities are explained.

Before making thedecision, the current performance of the processes is explained andunderstood. The causes are identified based on the insights developedin the previous step. Cause identification enables the team to comeup with improvements on the processes that can ensure elimination ofthe inaccuracy in prescription. The responsibilities of processes andassociated individuals are redefined. Before finalizing on theimprovements to select, alternatives are provided by the teammembers, after which appropriate one(s) is agreed on. The proposedimprovements are then implemented based on the requirements describedby the team during decision making.


Statisticalthinking will be effective in ensuring that the issues associatedwith prescription are addressed. It is based on data about theprescription i.e. accurate and inaccurate prescription. This conceptwill enable Juan and HMO pharmacy to find the best approach toeliminating the problems they are facing. Process mapping is usefulin understanding the sub-processes, inputs, outputs, supplier’scustomers and identify the root causes associated with the variablesin the process. SIPOC model is used in developing insights of theproblem, identifying the root causes and their solutions.


Andersen, B., &amp Galloway, D. (2008).&nbspMapping workprocesses. Milwaukee, Wis: ASQ Quality Press.

Andersen, B., &amp Galloway, D. (2008).&nbspMapping workprocesses. Milwaukee, Wis: ASQ Quality Press.

Ben-Zvi, D., &amp Garfield, J. (2005).&nbspThe Challenge ofDeveloping Statistical Literacy. New York: Springer Science +Business Media, Inc.

Campbell, S. K. (2012).&nbspFlaws and Fallacies in StatisticalThinking. Dover Publications.

Fry, H. M. (2008).&nbspMedication reconciliation: Toolkit forimplementing national patient safety goal 8. Oakbrook Terrace,IL: Joint Commission Resources.

Kayne, S. B. (2005).&nbspPharmacy business management. London[u.a.: Pharmaceutical Press.