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Histograms and Pareto Charts

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Course Details

Credit/contact hours: .5
Estimated time to complete: 30 minutes
Publication Date: Sept 10, 2020
Expiration date: Sept 10, 2026
Reviewed: Sept. 9, 2023


Measures like the mean and standard deviation (covered in the Descriptive Data module) are useful methods for summarizing data, but we can also use pictures or graphs to gain a clearer understanding of process performance. The goal remains the same: how do our processes perform and how much do the outcomes of interest vary? Histograms and Pareto charts are visual displays that help us answer these questions. These methods also provide clues about the types and causes of variation we see in our processes of care.

Note: This course is eligible for ACPE credit.

You Will Learn

  • Define histograms and Pareto charts
  • Explain the value of using histograms and Pareto charts for quality improvement
  • Interpret histograms and Pareto charts

Method and medium:

Learners participate in the interactive learning modules by correctly answering multiple choice questions dispersed throughout. Learners will be prompted to try again, if a question is answered incorrectly.The course will open in a new tab - to exit the course, simply close that tab.

John D. Voss, MD

John D. Voss, MD, is in the Division of General Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Care at the University of Virginia.

DISCLOSURE: This individual reports no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.

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