Glossary for: Key Terms

Acute Care

Usually delivered in a hospital-like setting, acute care is the type of care that your health care team will provide if you are sick or injured, or recovering from a treatment such as surgery. When you are admitted to an acute care hospital to receive care, you are usually called an “inpatient”.

Ambulatory Care

All types of health services that are provided on an outpatient basis, in contrast to services provided in the home or to persons who are inpatients. While many inpatients may be ambulatory, the term ambulatory care usually implies that the patient must travel to a location to receive services that do not require an overnight […]

Assisted Living

A broad range of residential care services that includes some assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living but does not include nursing services such as administration of medication. Assisted living facilities and in-home living care stress independence and generally provide less intensive care than that delivered in nursing homes and […]


Recognizes the importance of continuous doctor- patient relationships and aims to connect an individual with a primary health care provider who provides him/her with comprehensive, ongoing care.


Continuing Medical Education for doctors.

Community Health Centres [CHC]

CHCs provide a wide range of health services which may include prenatal, postpartum, health promotion, disease and injury prevention, bereavement services, communicable disease and school health, immunization and many other community care public health and wellness programs.

Emergency Room/Emergency Department [ER/ED]

Emergency services are available 24 hours a day in regional and community hospitals across the province. Emergency departments are intended to care for individuals experiencing a health crisis or urgent medical condition. Examples of urgent medical conditions include but are not limited to: signs of heart attack or stroke, extreme pain, severe bleeding, broken bones, […]

Engagement Opportunity

Any process, event or committee in which patient partners are invited and supported to share their experiences and perspectives, with the goal of contributing to health care system improvement.

Group Medical Visits

Groups of patients get together with their doctor to learn about their condition, ask questions, share knowledge with other patients, and gain confidence in themselves and their ability to self- manage their chronic conditions.

Health Care Partner [HCP]

Any health authority staff member or similar stakeholder who, in the course of their work, seeks out, supports, and facilitates patient engagement opportunities. These HCPs are often the main point-of contact for patient partners taking part in engagement opportunities.

Integrated Primary and Community Care [IPCC]

Includes efforts to shift the management and delivery of health services so that clients receive a continuum of preventive and curative services, according to their needs over time and across different levels of the health system.


A philosophy focused on maximizing value while reducing waste or inefficiency.

Long Term Residential Care

Long-term residential care services provide 24-hour professional supervision and care in a protective, supportive environment for people who have complex care needs and can no longer be cared for in their own homes or in an assisted living residence.


When a person is not admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay, but still comes to a physician’s office, clinic, hospital, day surgery office or other health care facility for diagnosis, treatment or to receive care, that patient is considered an “outpatient”. See also: inpatient

Palliative Care

Care and supports for patients and families who are dealing with a progressive, life-limiting illness.

Patient (with regards to Patient Engagement)

A person who is receiving, has received, or has requested health care. This term includes caregiver: a person(s) whom the patient wishes to be involved with them in care, and acting on behalf of and in the interest of the patient. It refers to all other terms for patient including client, resident, person, consumer,etc.

Patient Advisors

Individuals who represent the patient perspective at all system levels. It includes champions, advocates, representatives, etc.

Patient Engagement [PE]

Involvement of the patient perspective in decision making and active participation in all aspects of design, planning, delivery and evaluation of health services at all system levels.

Patient Safety

The pursuit of the reduction and mitigation of unsafe acts within the health care system, as well as the use of best practices shown to lead to optimal patient outcomes.

Patient-Centred Care & Patient- and Family-Centred Care [PCC / PFCC]

PCC and PFCC are closely related approaches that guide all aspects of planning, delivering and evaluating clinical care decisions and services. The focus is always on creating and nurturing mutually beneficial partnerships among the care providers and the patients they serve. It means providing care that is respectful, compassionate, culturally safe, and competent, while being […]


PDSA represents the four phases in small tests of changes: PLAN a small test of change, DO (test) that change, STUDY the results – what happened, and ACT – decide whether to adapt, adopt or abandon the change.

Primary Care Home

A primary care home is a collaborative primary care network or co-located team of full service family practices, whose services are enhanced by linked or integrated health authority delivered primary care services. Primary care homes aim to provide accessible, continuous, coordinated and client-centered care.

Public Health

The science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community according to the public health principles of disease prevention, health promotion, and public policy.

Quality of Care

The degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. Seven dimensions of quality, as outlined in the BC Health Quality Matrix include: acceptability, appropriateness, accessibility, safety, effectiveness, equity and efficiency. See more at:


Self-management, or self-care, refers to what we do every day to maintain our health and manage long-term health problems.


A phone call that multiple people can participate in. Everyone dials into a common number and, once connected, all participants can hear each other.

Triple Aim

A framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) that describes an approach that simultaneously pursue three dimensions, (called the “Triple Aim”): Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); Improving the health of populations; and Reducing the per capita cost of health care.


Short for web-based seminar, a webinar is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the internet. In a webinar each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the internet and/or teleconference.