Money. Speed. Quantity. Quality. So many aspects of daily life are best expressed in numbers. And nowhere is this truer than in healthcare, whether it's a clinical department of a hospital, a physician's office or the executive suite of a healthcare system.
The business side of healthcare is awash in numbers. Net patient revenue. Total profit margin. Length of stay. Debt-to-capitalization ratio. Think of the alphabet soup of acronyms used in healthcare-DRG, ALOS, EBITDA, PPI, to give just a few examples-and there's probably a numerical equivalent.
Health status assessment also can be a jumble of digits: blood pressure, temperature, pulse, good cholesterol vs. bad. Can you still read this without glasses? Chances are, then you rate a 20/20. And how many of us are happy with the numerical report when we step on the scale?
In short, numbers are one of the best ways to tell a story in a concise manner. This is the fifth annual edition of Modern Healthcare's "By the Numbers," and the intent is to offer a different type of digital imaging: The data are presented to show recent snapshots of the various healthcare sectors, as well as historical trends and perspective.
Many of the data sets provide annual updates of past sections, while others are new to this year's issue, with all charts including contact information to help dig deeper for further information.
As always, we welcome feedback on what readers find most useful as well as the types of information you'd like to see included in future issues. You have our number.
Assistant managing editor/features
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