Community Connections for Health Care

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Community Connections for Health Care Part II of IV

by Joan Bachman



Health Care provider types can be categorized by how and where services are provided -- Community Providers, Outpatient Providers, Inpatient Providers, and In-Home Providers. Another step in categorizing Health Care could be by the functions of services provided -Preventive Services, Acute care, Rehabilitative Care, Chronic Care, Palliative Care, Long Term Care, and End of Life Care. Most provider types perform more than one function.

Separation into functions may be further useful in recognizing how best to assist your clients in making decisions for their health care. Some diseases or medical conditions can be prevented, some can be cured, and some can only be managed. Consideration of the function of health care services to be utilized is dependent in part, on the lifestyle of the client and access to resources.

Preventive Services

Preventive services are intended to prevent or delay acute illness and to prevent, delay, or manage chronic conditions and are offered in most health care settings. Prevention of chronic or acute medical conditions is the least expensive and can ensuring the best quality of living.

Preventive services may be offered at any of the Health Care provider types. Preventive services include education and training to obtain or maintain healthy eating, activities, and lifestyle habits, screening for chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers; vaccination clinics, support groups, and referrals for domestic, legal and financial issues. 

Acute Care

Acute services are defined as those aimed at providing short term treatment for an episode of illness or severe injury.  Because acute services frequently require scheduling an appointment and are expensive, too many people use emergency services, which are very expensive. 

The first usual place to seek treatment for an acute condition is the medical clinic or private practitioner.  Some acute medical conditions may require inpatient admission and treatment for round the clock care and observation. Other conditions may require surgical intervention which may be performed in the hospital or in an outpatient setting. Acute Care services are provided by licensed medical and health care individuals in licensed medical buildings.

Rehabilitative Care

Rehabilitative care refers to health care services that follow-up on a medical or surgical service to assist clients to keep, restore or improve skills and functioning for daily living, and skills related to communication that have been lost or impaired because a person was sick, injured or disabled.  This service is offered to inpatients and outpatients.

Chronic Care

Chronic Care services treat long-standing non-curable disease with treatment, education, and support services. Chronic Care services manage rather than cure disease. They include education, monitoring, and management of chronic disease or health condition. 

Chronic Care services include screening, diagnosis, treatment, education, and support groups. The medical clinic and community providers offer such services. 

*Palliative Care is specialized medical care and support for persons with serious illnesses.  It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis or prognosis.

Long Term Care

Long Term Care services are offered in a residential or inpatient setting, either in a private home or an institution, for individuals who are physically or mentally incapable off self-care. A long term care institution is a licensed building staffed by licensed and qualified staff members round the clock, such as a nursing facility, assisted living facility, or group home.

 Long Term Care services include skilled nursing and personal care; assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living; safety and security, disease management, social, emotional, and spiritual support, palliative care, and transportation.

End of Life Care

End of Life Care is for individuals facing a life-limiting illness or injury. Hospice and palliative care both offer a team approach offering expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to the person’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the person's loved ones as well.


About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.

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