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Glossary of Terms

Ambulatory care sensitive conditions
These are chronic medical problems. When these problems are treated successfully, patients do not need hospitalization.

Benchmark The best performance now achieved. Compare yourself to the best not the average To improve the most.

Best Practices Best practices are the suggestions of care that experts have agreed upon in particular circumstances.

Carotid Endarterectomy An operation where the surgeon cleans out the fatty deposits in the artery in the front part of the neck that supplies blood to the brain.

Care Process Indicators Most patient care involves many small steps. Some of the steps are recorded and measured to indicate that the overall process is occurring.

Chronic Disease A chronic disease is an illness or sickness that is not curable. Usually, the sickness can be controlled for a long time with treatment. When the sickness is poorly controlled, complications occur.

Clinical Guidelines Same as best practices.

Credentialed A physician is credentialed by a hospital or other organization by establishing that education and training actually occurred successfully. Also the credentialing organization establishes that the physicians can perform a list of activities to a minimum standard.

Critical Access Hospital A Federal/State program that pays more money to small rural hospitals that agree to limit their services.

Electronic Medical Record An electronic medical record is an electronic record of all of your medical information, searchable and available to those who are allowed to use it.

Geographical Medical Variations Geographical Variation is another term for small area variation analysis that looks at the specific population of an area and the medical services that the population receives compared to an average.

Hospital Service Area (HSA) HSAs are towns where almost everyone treated in a hospital receives treatment in their local hospital. Maine has 31 HSAs.

Hysterectomy The surgical removal of a woman's uterus or womb. The ovaries are not removed.

LeapFrog Group A group of payers and employers organized to improve healthcare quality

Patient Registry A patient registry is an electronic record of patients within one practice that tracks milestones of care such as medications, laboratory tests and imaging tests.

Peer Group A peer group is a group of people or organizations that are similar or nearly the same.

Primary Care Provider A primary care provider (PCP) is a general practitioner who sees people of all ages for common medical problems. This person is usually a doctor, but may be a physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner. Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, so it is important to select someone with whom you will work well with.

Specialty Physician A Specialty Physician is usually Board certified in a specific area of medicine such as Dermatology. A specialty physician may be sub-specialty certified such as a general surgeon who cares for kids only. A pediatric surgeon.

Systems A system is an organized interdependent flow of information and patients.

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