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Mean, median and mode are differing values that furnish information regarding a set of observations. The mean is used when one desire to determine the average value for data ranked in intervals. The "mean" is the sum of the values divided by the total numbers of items in the set.
The median is used to learn the middle of graded information; the "median" is the "middle" value in the list of numbers. Sorting the data set from lowest to highest value and taking the data point in the middle of the sequence determine the median. For example, Hospital length of stay for surgery, most procedure is done on ambulatory surgery and patient either goes home on same day or stay over for few days and some for few week or months. In this case median would be obtained because the data will be skewed.
And the “mode” is the value that occurs most frequently in the data. If no number is repeated, then there is no mode for the list. The mode can be useful for dealing with categorical data. For example, in OR different procedures are performed in daily bases but the amount of laparoscopy appendectomy procedure is most often compare to other procedures. So the mode will represent the most popular surgery performed.
The mean, median and mode are measurement of the central tendency of the data. It can be used to evaluate the symmetry of a data distribution, this is important to choosing the appropriate statistical test. If the mean and median are equal, the data is usually symmetrical or normally distributed and a test for normally distributed data should be used. If the mean and median differ markedly, the data are likely skewed and a test for non-normally distributed data is appropriate. Reference:
Institute of work and health; when to use mean, median and mode, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.iwh.on.ca/wrmb/mean-median-and-mode

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