Statistical Process Control, Continuous Variables

Statistical Process Control, Continuous Variables

SPC monitors operations of processes and outcomes within a system to see if they are capable of meeting requirements as well as to see if they are “in control.” As you continue to examine the output from SPC, what might a health care administration leader gain from understanding Xbar, R, and S charts? These measures are important for helping to guide decision making and to promote quality and effective health care delivery in health services organizations.

For this Discussion, review the resources for this week regarding control charts. Then, reflect on how your health services organization, or one with which you are familiar, might use the control chart to evaluate whether a process is in control.

NOTE: For this Discussion, you will be required to run the SPSS software platform.

Post a description of one of the control charts presented in the resources and explain a process where it might be used. Be specific and provide examples. Then, create the appropriate control chart for the process you described using fictitious data. Attach this chart to your discussion. Do not use real data. Explain whether the process you chose is under control or not, and explain why.

NOTE: As an example, you might choose Xbar and S charts to monitor monthly patient satisfaction scores for your hospital. Then you would generate random data and plots using SPSS.


Ross, T. K. (2014). Health care quality management: Tools and applications. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 6, “Statistical Process Control for Monitoring System Performance” (pp. 217–264)

Fretheim, A., & Tomic, O. (2015). Statistical process control and interrupted time series: A golden opportunity for impact evaluation in quality improvement. BMJ Quality & Safety, 24(12), 748–752.

U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology. (n.d.). NIST/SEMATECH e-handbook of statistical methods. Retrieved April 5, 2016, from

  • Chapter 6.3.1, “Control Charts”
  • Chapter 6.3.2, “Variables Control Charts”

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