Levels of Healthcare in the United States
Healthcare management is exactly what it sounds like. It is the administration of a healthcare facility, such as a clinic or hospital. A healthcare manager is in charge of ensuring that a healthcare facility is running smoothly in terms of budget, practitioner goals, and community needs. The facility’s day-to-day operations are overseen by a person in charge of healthcare management.
When providing information to the media, this person also serves as a spokesperson. The person in charge of healthcare management also works with medical staff leaders on issues such as medical equipment, department budgets, planning ways to ensure the facility meets its goals, and maintaining positive relationships with doctors, nurses, and all department heads. The healthcare manager is also in charge of performance appraisals, staff expectations, budgeting, social media updates, and billing.
Highest position in healthcare management
As a hospital administrator, the highest position one can hold is Chief Executive Officer. A healthcare CEO is a professional who assists in determining and developing policies for the overall direction of a hospital and healthcare system.
Levels of Healthcare
The complexity and severity of health challenges addressed, as well as the nature of the patient-provider relationship, are referred to as primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care.These four levels of healthcare providers work together to provide medical services such as evaluation, diagnostics, treatment, or referrals to the next level of care based on the specific health needs.
Primary Health Care:
Primary health care is a service that focuses on people rather than diseases and addresses the majority of a person’s health needs throughout their lifetime, including physical, mental, and social well-being. Primary care is the first level of care that patients typically receive when they have medical concerns or needs, and it takes a whole-of-society approach that includes health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.
In most cases, this means seeing a primary care physician, also known as a general practitioner or family physician, though first contact care can also occur with a wide range of other health care professionals such as a pharmacist, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, and so on, depending on your country’s specific health care system.
According to the World Health Organization, providing essential primary care is an essential component of an inclusive primary health care strategy, and a primary care approach should include the three components listed below.
- Meeting people’s health needs for the rest of their lives.
- Addressing the broader health determinants through cross-sectoral policy and action.
- Individuals, families, and communities are being empowered to take charge of their own health.
Secondary health care refers to the treatment and support provided by doctors and other health professionals to patients who have been referred to them for specific expert care, which is typically provided in hospitals. Secondary care services are typically provided in a hospital or clinic, though some may be provided in the community. They could include scheduled operations, specialist clinics like cardiology or renal clinics, or rehabilitation services like physiotherapy.
Secondary care is more specialised and focuses on assisting patients who are suffering from more severe or complex health conditions that necessitate the assistance of a specialist. Secondary care simply means that you will be cared for by someone who is more knowledgeable about your condition. Cancer treatment, medical care for pneumonia and other severe and sudden infections, and care for broken bones are examples of medical situations requiring secondary care services.
Tertiary care is a level of health care above secondary care that has been defined as highly specialised medical care that is usually provided over an extended period of time and involves advanced and complex diagnostics, procedures, and treatments performed by medical specialists in cutting-edge facilities. Consultants in tertiary care facilities, as a result, have access to more specialised equipment and expertise.
Tertiary care services include cancer management specialists, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, transplant services, plastic surgery, severe burn treatment, advanced neonatology services, palliative care, and other complex medical and surgical interventions.
- This is the care that patients receive as a result of a referral from their primary and secondary care providers.
- Individuals with diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders may require advanced medical procedures such as major surgeries, transplants, replacements, and long-term medical care management.
- The highest level of healthcare practice is specialised consultative medical care, which performs all major medical procedures.
- Tertiary Medical Care is distinguished by advanced diagnostic centres, specialised intensive care units, and modern medical facilities.
Quaternary care has been defined as an extension of tertiary care in reference to advanced levels of medicine that are highly specialised, difficult to access, and typically only available in a small number of national or international centres. Quaternary care includes experimental medicine and certain types of unusual diagnostic or surgical procedures.
Quaternary care, like tertiary care, has large catchment areas, often catering to individuals not only nationally but globally, especially when providing care for very rare health conditions with small numbers of patients globally. This may have serious consequences for the patient, with long distances delaying diagnosis and treatment and complicating care coordination among all healthcare providers involved in the patient’s care, especially after discharge, when responsibility for care typically returns to the patient’s primary care physician. Longer hospital stays and increased mortality may be seen at this level of care due to the complexity or rarity of the conditions of patients attending quaternary centres.