Research in the field of healthcare is important not only because it is able to provide insight into the progress of the healthcare industry but also because it explores possible changes that can be made to better enhance the way patients and health is treated.
However, research is not simply limited to experimentation and investigation. The articles that are written in order to spread the information and knowledge garnered from studies is also very important.
Writing a good research article is of the highest priority in research because it is here where others are able to get data regarding the investigation’s discoveries. It is also through this that others may acquire information in order to validate the study.
This paper is a review on a healthcare research paper. The article will be reviewed according to its title, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and conclusion, and references.
The article’s title, Hospital Progress in Reducing Error: The Impact of External Interventions, (Hosford, 2008) is very straight to the point. It is able to describe the study clearly in only ten words.
There are no unnecessary or distracting words. In fact, the words that make up the title are key words for the study’s elements and articles needed to make these key words into a cohesive whole.
Hospital progress, reducing, error, impact and external interventions, are all key words within the title which show the reader the direction the study will take. These are very effective in bringing the message of what the study is about. Simply reading the title will let one know what can be gained from reading the body of the text.
The article’s abstract is composed of 109 words. The purpose, method, and findings of the study are clearly stated here. However, the variables included in the study are not all indicated. The independent variables are presented although they are not introduced as such. The moderating variable was mentioned in the statement of the purpose of the study but was unclear in its statement.
The dependent variables were also stated in the presentation of the findings but were also not very straightforward in their presentation. All the major categories of the study’s findings, however, were stated in the abstract albeit having only reported whether these categories were successful or not with regards to the study’s aims.
Overall, the abstract was able to provide enough information about the study to engage the interest of someone who is looking for this specific type of study. However, it seemed to lack in the vigor of its presentation to encourage the further reading of one who is simply browsing health care literature.
The introduction only offered a review of past literature as well as implications as to why reduction of hospital errors is important. Through the introduction, the author was able to present a rationale for why the study was conducted.
The authors of the article failed to state the research problem in their introduction. The author also did not present the hypotheses and the research questions in this section. Rather, these were placed inappropriately in the Results section of the paper. These were logical and based on previous works.
The hypothesis was clearly stated, albeit in the wrong section, and was even given a subheading in order to differentiate it from the rest of the paper. It was directional in that it posited that hospitals were not able to effectively implement medical error management systems.
The introduction was clearly lacking in depth and scope. It did not present the research problem and hypothesis. The literature review cuts off prematurely and the transition into the Method section was not smooth because it did not guide the discussion back to the study in question.
The sample used in the study were clearly described in the methods section. The numbers of participants involved as well as the characteristics of the population were explicitly stated. The number and types of hospitals where the participants were located were also enumerated clearly.
The author also states the criteria used for choosing the participants of the study. The instrument that was used in the study, a survey developed by the author, was an appropriate measure of the variables being investigated and was comprehensively described by the author.
The methods by which this instrument was developed are clearly described. The metric properties of the survey were evaluated by two focus groups and were affirmed through a pilot study. However, reliability and validity measurements for the survey were not indicated in the article. The research design, however, was stated clearly at the beginning of the section.
A quantitative, cross-sectional, ex post facto study was conducted. This was highly appropriate for the purposes of the study and would be able to meet the author’s goals.
Although the methods section was able to comprehensively present the research design and sample, replication of the study would be hard because the survey developed by the author was not shown. A replication study could probably be conducted but a different survey would need to be developed.
This is possible because the author described thoroughly the method by which he was able to develop his own survey. However, a different survey instrument would not be an exact replication of the present study.
One of the winning points of the article is its Results section. The section was clearly written and was very well organized as evidenced by the appropriately headed subsections. The statistical methods employed to analyze the results of the conducted survey were appropriate and were able to clearly show the condition of the variables under investigation.
The tabular and graphical presentations of the results of the statistical analyses were also highly comprehensive and very easy to understand. Labels were specific and described exactly what was shown in the tables and figures. Individuals who only have a basic grasp of statistics would be able to clearly interpret the results of the study.
The text and the presentations complemented each other and were not simple repetitions of data. Although the hypotheses was stated in the Results section, even having its own subsection, the results were not directly related to it in presentation.
The null hypotheses and the alternative hypotheses were simply presented and then rejected and accepted accordingly. However, the presentations of the results of each variable were no longer linked to the original hypotheses, on whether these supported or rejected the hypotheses.
Discussion and Conclusion
The ending portion of the paper is well-organized. The Discussion section is able to tackle the findings according to the exact conceptual framework of the Results section, in particular, and of the study, in general.
This made the reading of the discussions easier and allowed for readers to more closely follow the author’s train of thought. In the Discussion section, the author made sure to relate the study’s findings with that of previous work but was unable to connect this to explicitly state how these were related to the hypotheses.
Also, the lack of an explicitly stated research problem in the article made it harder to identify whether the findings and the discussion of these findings were able to effectively answer the investigation’s research problems. With regard to the study’s variables and their relationship with each other, however, the author’s discussion was able to comprehensively and clearly address the relevant issues.
In the Conclusions section, the author was able to provide a general conclusion that was based on the results of the study. He was able to provide a succinct summary of the results in general statements that were valid and founded on the statistical findings.
The limitations of the study were also presented in this section as a subsection on its own. The study’s limitations were enumerated clearly and were also explained thoroughly. Another subsection in the conclusion included the author’s recommendations for future research. The author was able to provide input with regards to the direction and probable courses of action of future researchers on the same subject matter.
The references used were sufficiently current. All 21 sources were published or accessed within the past 10 years. The oldest was published in 1998 while the newest was published in 2006. The study was able to provide essential answers to the issue of medical errors in health care. The importance of this study is that it was able to explore factors leading to a reduction of medical error.
If these are identified and backed up by empirical data, the status of healthcare may be improved and the risk of committing errors in the medical field may be drastically reduced if not completely eliminated. The strengths of this study is in its clear presentation of the variables that could contribute to the reduction or elimination of medical errors.
The referral to previous works and the incorporation of the results of these previous studies also add to the vigor of the study’s conclusions. However, the inability to present a clear research problem and a direct hypothesis with regards to the variables weakens the study. Formulation of a problem and placing this with the hypotheses in the article’s introduction would strengthen the presentation.
What I found surprising in the study was that the public’s awareness of medical errors did not decrease the frequency of occurrence of these events. It was not a significant determinant of progress in the medical error management systems employed in hospitals. Overall, the study was successful in its investigation of medical error management systems.
Hosford, S. B. (2008). Hospital progress in reducing error: the impact of external interventions. Hospital Topics, 86(1), 9-19.