Glossary of Health Care and Medical Terms

In many cases,
You can click on the healthcare related term below to get a more in-depth description of that glossary term. On the extended definition page, you will be shown the longer description, plus a list of articles related to that term or topic.


Pay For Performance (P4P). Physician is reimbursed for and is responsible for all outcomes.

Physician Assistant

Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS). Provides a digital workflow platform for viewing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital images. In addition to radiology, pathology, gastroenterology, and cardiology may also involve medical imaging.
Picture - digital diagnostic image, typically radiological
Archiving - electronic storage and retrieval, so no lost films
Communication - computer network with multiple access and IS integration
System - control of the processes with integrated technology
PACS stores images from the various digital acquisition devices, such as ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), mammography (mammo), as different modalities.

Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or surgery recovery room

Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM)

Pandemic surveillance is much like Bio-surveillance in the technological aspects. Details about the victims are stored to allow tracking of the transmission and extent of contagion over time.
Also see: Biosurveillance

Under the healthcare reform act 2010, an ACO is at financial risk for some, but not all, of the items and services covered under parts A and B, such as at risk

The name for IFMC's system for collecting data from everyone who reports data in to OCSQ

Pathology: 1) The science of the causes and effects of diseases, esp. the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes. Or 2) Pathological features considered collectively; the typical behavior of a disease

The Health Care Reform Act of 2010 / Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, was passed in 2010 to reform the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs. PPACA objectives are to improve coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, expand access to care for over 30 million Americans, and reduce the long term costs of the United States health care system.
Also see: PPACA

Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) 2011 is an innovative program for improving primary care developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The Patient Centered Medical Home is a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients, and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, the patient’s family.

Healthcare Pay for Performance (P4P) programs reward hospitals, physician practices and other providers with both financial and non-financial incentives based on performance on select measures. These performance measures can cover various aspects of healthcare delivery: clinical quality and safety, efficiency, patient experience and health information technology adoption.
Also see: P4P


Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) is a third party administrator of prescription drug programs. They are primarily responsible for processing and paying prescription drug claims.

The Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program (PCIP) provides a 10 percent incentive payment for primary care services furnished on or after January 1, 2011 and before January 1, 2016. PCIP was establiched by Section 5501(a)(3) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

Patient-Centered Medical Home . Unlike ACO, PCMH does not offer explicit incentives for providers to work collaboratively to reduce costs and improve quality


See Primary Care Physician (PCP)
Also see: Primary Care Physician

Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). A provider must be registered in this system to be eligible to receive HITECH Act Medicare EHR incentives

Personal Health Record (PHR) is also referred to as personally controlled health records
Also see: PHR

Past, Family and Social History (PFSH)data from a medical encounter

Personalized Health Care (PHC)

Population Health & Clinical Care Connections (PHCCC)

Public Health Data Standards Consortium (PHDSC)


1) Protected Health Information (PHI) or Personal Health Information.

2) Public Health Informatics (PHI) is the use of computers and technology to serve the specialized needs of public health to promote public health practice, research and training
Also see: Protected Health Information

Public Health Information Network (PHIN)

Physician Hospital Organization (PHO)

Personal Health Record (PHR) is also referred to as personally controlled health records

Physician Incentive Programs are programs that provide government, hospital and insurance payer rewards to health care providers for quality and performance. Examples are the HITECH Act / CMS meaningful use EHR incentive program and MIPPA e-prescribing incentives.

see PQRI
Also see: PQRI , PQRS

see PQRS
Also see: PQRI , PQRS

President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC)

Program Management (PM)

Project Management Office (PMO)

Practice Management System (PMS)


The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses Present on admission (POA) indicator to group diagnoses into the proper DRG

Point-of-Service Plan (POS) - A health benefit plan allowing the covered person to choose to receive a service from a participating or non-participating provider, with different benefit levels associated with the use of participating providers.
Also see: POS


See Point-of-Service (POS).
Also see: Point-of-Service

See Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
Also see: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ACA

See Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
Also see: Preferred Provider Organization

Prospective Payment System (Medicare Part A)

Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) which requires ACO reporting on such requirements and such payments related to electronic prescribing, electronic health records, and other similar initiatives under section 1848 of he healthcare reform bill. In 2011, the program name was changed to Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).
Also see: Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, PQRS

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is the new name for Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). PQRS includes incentive payments for eligible professionals who satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries
Also see: Physician Quality Reporting System, PQRI

Pre-populating forms: A government agency

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) - A program that establishes contracts with providers of medical care. Providers under such contracts are referred to as preferred providers. Usually, the benefit contract provides significantly better benefits and lower member costs for services received from preferred providers, thus encouraging covered persons to use these providers.
Also see: PPO

Primary Care Physician (PCP) - A physician, the majority of whose practice is devoted to internal medicine, family/general, and pediatrics. An obstetrician/gynecologist sometimes is considered a primary care physician, depending on coverage.
Also see: PCP

PRN means "as needed," usually followed by something along the lines of "Not to exceed 30 mg in 24 hours."

Protected Health Information (PHI) is a concept introduced by the HIPAA. PHI is health information that includes data to uniquely identify the person.
Also see: PHI

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Programs in the United States designed to promote physical and mental health and prevent disease injury and disability.

Public Health Informatics is an application area of Biomedical Informatics in which the field

Physician Voluntary Reporting Program (PVRP) - U.S. Department of Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medical Services sponsored quality of care reporting program.

Powered by MyInstantGlossary WordPress Plugin