Veritably any text on organization and administration, information management, or hospital affairs will contain a chapter on statistics. And an almost universal reaction to "statistics," whether in a hospital, large corporation, or small private enterprise, is negative because "statistics lie"; they are regarded as cumbersome, unreliable, and difficult to read by many people. But the areas of compilation, utilization, and demonstration of statistical data can be challenging and interesting. By anyone's professional standards, statistics are certainly necessary. They contribute to effective management and control for an individual department and a total organization like no other form of information can. Businesses process large amounts of data, and a hospital is no exception. In general, data must be interpreted to be useful. Statistical information amounts to a concise, meaningful interpretation, assuming that the data is based upon uniform definitions among those collecting the data, and that the party coordinating the information has an understanding of where the data originates, where the statistics are needed, and what purpose they will ultimately serve. The statistical norms reflect current practice in the participating hospitals. Their validity is not assumed, but must be established in each instance, meaning that numbers illustrating a certain point must be compared with the data from which they are derived. If a certain figure demonstrates inadequate patient care, the patient's medical record must be examined. There must be a causal connection between the failure to meet the requirements and the injury caused to a person. If that connection can be made, then liability will and should follow. If the causal connection cannot be established there can be no negligence under these circumstances. Moreover, the procedure ensures that the norms will automatically reflect the. 3 changes in practice that occur with the passage of time.