Clinic
Overview
A clinic is a health care facility
Health care provider
A health care provider is an individual or an institution that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities....

 that is primarily devoted to the care of outpatients. Clinics can be privately operated or publicly managed and funded, and typically cover the primary health care needs of populations in local communities, in contrast to larger hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s which offer specialized treatments and admit inpatients for overnight stays. Some clinics grow to be institutions as large as major hospitals, or become associated with a hospital or medical school
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

, while retaining the name “clinic”.

Clinics are often associated with general medical practice, run by one or several general practitioner
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

s or practice managers
Medical practice consultants
Medical Practice Consultants or Healthcare Management Consultants typically advise licensed healthcare providers and health-systems on business and administrative issues, but not clinical issues....

.
Encyclopedia
A clinic is a health care facility
Health care provider
A health care provider is an individual or an institution that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities....

 that is primarily devoted to the care of outpatients. Clinics can be privately operated or publicly managed and funded, and typically cover the primary health care needs of populations in local communities, in contrast to larger hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s which offer specialized treatments and admit inpatients for overnight stays. Some clinics grow to be institutions as large as major hospitals, or become associated with a hospital or medical school
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

, while retaining the name “clinic”.

Clinics are often associated with general medical practice, run by one or several general practitioner
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

s or practice managers
Medical practice consultants
Medical Practice Consultants or Healthcare Management Consultants typically advise licensed healthcare providers and health-systems on business and administrative issues, but not clinical issues....

. Physiotherapy clinics are usually operated by physiotherapists and psychology clinics by clinical psychologists, and so on for each health profession. Some clinics are operated in-house by employers, government organizations or hospitals and some clinical services are outsourced to private corporations, specialising in provision of health services. In China, for example, owners of those clinics do not have formal medical education. Health care in India
Healthcare in India
Healthcare in India features a universal health care system run by the constituent states and territories of India. The Constitution charges every state with "raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties"...

, China
Barefoot doctors
Barefoot doctors are farmers who received minimal basic medical and paramedical training and worked in rural villages in the People's Republic of China. Their purpose was to bring health care to rural areas where urban-trained doctors would not settle...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 is provided to vast rural areas by mobile health clinics or roadside dispensaries, some of which integrate traditional health practices. In India these traditional clinics provide ayurvedic medicine and unani
Unani
Unani-tibb or Unani Medicine also spelled Yunani Medicine means "Greek Medicine", and is a form of traditional medicine widely practiced in South Asia...

 herbal medical practice. In each of these countries traditional medicine
Traditional medicine
Traditional medicine comprises unscientific knowledge systems that developed over generations within various societies before the era of modern medicine...

 tends to be a hereditary practice.

Etymology

The word derives from the Greek klinein meaning to slope, lean or recline. Hence kline is a couch or bed, klinikos is sloping or reclining and Latin is clinicus. An early use of the word clinic was, 'one who receives baptism on a sick bed'.

Function

The function of clinics will differ from country to country. For instance, a local general practice run by a single general practitioner will provide primary health care
Primary health care
Primary health care, often abbreviated as “PHC”, has been defined as "essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost...

, and will usually be run as a for-profit business by the owner whereas a government specialist clinic may provide subsidized specialized health care.

Some clinics function as a place for people with injuries or illnesses to come and be seen by triage
Triage
Triage or ) is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately. The term comes from the French verb trier, meaning to separate,...

 nurse or other health worker. In these clinics, the injury or illness may not be serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency room, but the person can be moved to one if required. Treatment at these clinics is often less expensive than it would be at a casualty department. Also, unlike an ER these clinics are often not open on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis. They sometimes have access to diagnostic equipment such as X-ray
X-ray
X-radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays and longer than gamma...

 machines, especially if the clinic is part of a larger facility. Doctors at such clinics can often refer patients to specialists if the need arises.

Types

There are many different types of clinics providing outpatient services. Such clinics may be public (government funded) or private medical practices.
  • In the United States
    Health care in the United States
    Health care in the United States is provided by many separate legal entities. Health care facilities are largely owned and operated by the private sector...

    , a free clinic
    Free clinic
    A free clinic is a medical facility offering community healthcare on a free or very low-cost basis in countries with marginal or no universal health care. Care is generally provided in these clinics to persons who have lower or limited income and no health insurance, including persons who are not...

     provides free or low-cost health care for those without insurance.
  • A Retail Based Clinic is housed in supermarkets and similar retail outlets providing walk-in health care, which may be staffed by nurse practitioners.
  • A general out-patient clinic is a clinic offering a community general diagnoses or treatments without an overnight stay.
  • A polyclinic
    Polyclinic
    Polyclinics in England are intended to offer a far greater range of services than can be offered by current general practitioner practices and local health centres. In addition to traditional GP services they would offer extended urgent care, healthy living services, community mental health...

     is a place where a wide range of health care services (including diagnostics) can be obtained without need of an overnight stay
  • A specialist clinic is a clinic providing advanced diagnostic or treatment services for specific diseases or parts of the body. This type of clinic contrasts with general out-patient clinics, which deal with general health conditions and disease categories.
    • A sexual health clinic
      Sexual health clinic
      Sexual health clinics specialize in the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.Sexual health clinics provide only some reproductive health services...

       deals with sexual health related problems, such as prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
    • A fertility clinic
      Fertility clinic
      Fertility clinics are staffed medical clinics that assist couples, and sometimes individuals, who want to become parents but for medical reasons have been unable to achieve this goal via the natural course...

       aims to help women and couples to become pregnant.
    • An abortion clinic
      Abortion clinic
      An abortion clinic is a medical facility that primarily performs or specializes in abortions. Such clinics may be public medical centers or private medical practices.-Canada:*There were 197 abortion providers in Canada in 2001....

       is a medical facility providing abortion
      Abortion
      Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

       and related medical services to women.
    • An ambulatory surgery clinic offers outpatient or same day surgery services, usually for surgical procedures less complicated than those requiring hospitalization.

Examples

  • Tavistock Clinic
    Tavistock Clinic
    The in London was founded in 1920 by Dr. Hugh Crichton-Miller, a psychiatrist who developed psychological treatments for shell-shocked soldiers during and after the First World War. The clinic's first patient was, however, a child. Its clinical services were always, therefore, for both children...

    , part of the British NHS
    National Health Service
    The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

    , was founded in 1920's. One of its most celebrated members was R D Laing.
  • San Francisco's Suitcase Clinic
    Suitcase Clinic
    The Suitcase Clinic is a humanitarian student organization that has offered free services and supplies to the uninsured, homeless and low-income communities of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989.-Overview:...

     is a prime example of a free clinic.
  • Christian Medical College & Hospital
    Christian Medical College & Hospital
    Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore is one of the largest medical centres in India. This century-old Christian institution was founded by Ida S...

     in Vellore, India has extensive roadside dispensaries and began as a one bed clinic in 1900.
  • The Edmonton Clinic is a joint venture of the University of Alberta and a government health care body Capital health, expected to be completed in 2011.
  • The Shyness Clinic
    The Shyness Clinic
    The Shyness Clinic is a pioneering clinic founded in the late 1970s by Dr. Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. Its goal is to research cognitive traits in people with shyness and to offer treatment programs. It was later moved to the community of Palo Alto, California. The clinic follows a...

     founded by Zimbardo to assist those disabled by public or private shyness.
  • La Borde clinic in the Loire valley France, is an innovative psychiatric clinic where patients are liberated to actively participate in the running the facility.
  • The Mayo Clinic
    Mayo Clinic
    Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group specializing in treating difficult patients . Patients are referred to Mayo Clinic from across the U.S. and the world, and it is known for innovative and effective treatments. Mayo Clinic is known for being at the top of...

    , Cleveland Clinic
    Cleveland Clinic
    The Cleveland Clinic is a multispecialty academic medical center located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The Cleveland Clinic is currently regarded as one of the top 4 hospitals in the United States as rated by U.S. News & World Report...

    , and Lahey Clinic
    Lahey Clinic
    The Lahey Clinic is a physician-led nonprofit teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine based in Burlington, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1923 by surgeon Frank H...

     are three examples of comprehensive health care system
    Health care system
    A health care system is the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations....

    s. Both began as much smaller group practices that have grown into large medical programs in the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    , whilst retaining their names.
  • The Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic
    Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic
    The Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic is a free clinic in Pontiac, Michigan, United States. It provides primary free medical health and dental services to low income uninsured and underinsured families...

    , a non profit, volunteer supported Free Clinic in Pontiac, Michigan.

See also

  • Health care provider
    Health care provider
    A health care provider is an individual or an institution that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities....

  • Health center
  • Health systems management
    Health systems management
    Health systems management or health care systems management describes the leadership and general management of hospitals, hospital networks, and/or health care systems. In international use, the term refers to management at all levels. In the United States, management of a single institution...

  • Healthcare system
  • Nurse-led clinic
    Nurse-led clinic
    A nurse-led clinic can be considered an umbrella term which describes any outpatient clinic that is run or managed by Registered nurses, usually nurse practitioners...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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