- Health care provider
A health care provider is an individual or an institution that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities.
An individual health care provider (also known as a health worker) may be a health care professional, an allied health professional, a community health worker, or another person trained and knowledgeable in medicine, nursing or other allied health professions, or public/community health. Institutions (also known as health facilities) include hospitals, clinics, primary care centres and other service delivery points. The practice of health professionals and operation of health care institutions is typically regulated by national or state/provincial authorities through appropriate regulatory bodies for purposes of quality assurance. Together, they form part of an overall health care system.
A hospital is an institution for health care typically providing specialized treatment for inpatient (or overnight) stays. Some hospitals primarily admit patients suffering from a specific disease or affection, or are reserved for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting a specific age group. Others have a mandate that expands beyond offering dominantly curative and rehabilitative care services to include promotional, preventive and educational roles as part of a primary health care approach. Today, hospitals are usually funded by the state, health organizations (for profit or non-profit), by health insurances or by charities and by donations. Historically, however, they were often founded and funded by religious orders or charitable individuals and leaders. Hospitals are nowadays staffed by professionally trained doctors, nurses, paramedical clinicians, etc., whereas in history, this work was usually done by the founding religious orders or by volunteers.
Health care centre
Health care centres, including clinics and ambulatory surgery centers, serve as first point of contact with a health professional and provide outpatient medical, nursing, dental and other types of care services. Like hospitals, they may be governed and funded by government, parastatal organizations, or private or religious organizations (for profit or not-for-profit).
Medical nursing home
Medical nursing homes, including residential treatment centers and geriatric care facilities, are health care institutions which have accommodation facilities and which engage in providing short-term or long-term medical treatment of a general or specialized nature not performed by hospitals to inpatients with any of a wide variety of medical conditions.
Pharmacies and drug stores
Pharmacies and drug stores comprise establishments engaged in retailing prescription or nonprescription drugs and medicines, and other types of medical and orthopaedic goods. Regulated pharmacies may be based in a hospital or clinic or they may be privately operated, and are usually staffed by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy aides.
Medical laboratory and research
A medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on biological specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient. Such laboratories may be divided into categorical departments such as microbiology, hematology, clinical biochemistry, immunology, serology, histology, cytology, cytogenetics, or virology. In many countries, there are two main types of labs that process the majority of medical specimens. Hospital laboratories are attached to a hospital, and perform tests on these patients. Private or community laboratories receive samples from general practitioners, insurance companies, and other health clinics for analysis.
A biomedical research facility is where basic research or applied research is conducted to aid the body of knowledge in the field of medicine. Medical research can be divided into two general categories: the evaluation of new treatments for both safety and efficacy in what are termed clinical trials, and all other research that contributes to the development of new treatments. The latter is termed preclinical research if its goal is specifically to elaborate knowledge for the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Practitioners and professionals
Health practitioners and professionals
- Athletic Trainers
- Audiologists and Speech Pathologists
- Clinical nurse specialists
- Clinical officers
- Community health workers
- Dietitians and Nutritionists
- Emergency medical technicians
- Health administrators
- Medical Assistants
- Medical technologists
- Midwives, including Nurse Midwives
- Nurse practitioners
- Nurse anesthetists
- Occupational therapists
- Pharmacy technicians
- Physician Assistants
- Respiratory Therapists
- Social Workers
Related health care