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Primary and Secondary Data, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 679

Research Paper

Introduction

Primary data is used in order to address a set of research questions that are specific to a given study and which will support the derivation of responses for these questions (Institute for Work and Health, 2015). This information is specifically geared towards the questions that are being considered and are likely to have an impact on the responses that will be generated (Institute for Work and Health, 2015). On the other hand, secondary data is derived from other sources and may include general information that may be useful as a background source for the project in question (Institute for Work and Health, 2015). Each type of data is relevant because they offer additional insight into the topic under consideration and provide supporting information for the arguments that are being made. At the same time, secondary data may be too general and may not specifically apply to the scenario in question, which poses a risk to the integrity and success of the project when there are limitations regarding the efficacy of the data that has been derived. Nonetheless, each concept is useful in identifying areas of concern and promoting greater insight into the subject area of choice.

Body

A critical priority for nurses is the prevention of patient falls, which requires an analysis of primary and secondary data in order to determine the most effective means of achieving this objective. There must be a greater emphasis on understanding the causes of patient falls in order to determine how to prevent them throughout nursing units. Once the specific research question(s) have been defined, it is important to identify primary and secondary data that may contribute to solving the problem and its possible solutions. For example, questions regarding patient falls may be attributed to issues such as staffing, which are often considered to be a primary reason because there are insufficient levels of staffing to check on patients frequently and to prevent falls from taking place (Kalisch, Tschannen, & Lee, 2012). In this scenario, data regarding patient falls would be multi-dimensional and would include information that would have a significant impact on the study results. As a result, statistics regarding staffing levels and their potential impact on patient falls would be considered as primary data in this scenario (Kalisch et.al, 2012). Primary data would involve statistics within the organization(s) or unit(s) that will be evaluated in the study; therefore, this data would be derived within the organization and would have a significant impact on the study results. From a secondary perspective, data involving human factors that may contribute to patient falls, in addition to environmental conditions or elements, would likely involve secondary data regarding basic knowledge of these circumstances or conditions (Hignett, Griffiths, Sands, Wolf, & Constantinou, 2013). Therefore, both primary and secondary data would play an important role in developing a research study regarding the causes, incidence, and prevention of patient falls across nursing units and healthcare organizations. The use of prior data and statistics must be appropriate for the research questions and must provide support for the derivation of new forms of knowledge within this clinical scenario.

Conclusion

The use of primary and secondary data to address a variety of clinical health problems is an essential component of identifying research questions and developing protocols to address these issues in an effective manner. However, primary and secondary data must be used appropriately in order to ensure that the study is successful in answering the desired questions. Primary data would typically be derived within the target organizations or clinical units, while secondary data would provide a more generalized perspective regarding the problem and its incidence on a larger scale.

References

Hignett, S., Griffiths, P., Sands, G., Wolf, L., & Costantinou, E. (2013, June). Patient Falls

Focusing on Human Factors rather than Clinical Conditions. InProceedings of the International Symposium of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Healthcare (Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 99-104). SAGE Publications.

Institute for Work and Health (2015). What researchers mean by…primary data and secondary data. Retrieved from http://www.iwh.on.ca/wrmb/primary-data-and-secondary-data

Kalisch, B. J., Tschannen, D., & Lee, K. H. (2012). Missed nursing care, staffing, and patient falls. Journal of nursing care quality27(1), 6-12.

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