Barbara A. Bartkowiak, MLIS, MST and Brian J. Finnegan, MLIS
By identifying statistical trends and trails, health care providers can monitor local conditions and compare them to state, national, and international trends. Health statistics provide empirical data to assist in the allocation of public and private funds and help to determine how research efforts should be focused. Whether considering disease incidence, accidents, cure rates, physician or hospital fees, malpractice, mortality, drugs, treatments, or medical devices, the primary source for statistical health data most often appears on government, international organization, or professional association web sites. Credibility is critical when using statistics; the following web sites offer authoritative data.