Quality of Life: A generic concept reflecting concern with the modification and enhancement of life attributes, e.g., physical, political, moral and social environment; the overall condition of a human life.Health Status: The level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.Quality of Health Care: The levels of excellence which characterize the health service or health care provided based on accepted standards of quality.Public Health: Branch of medicine concerned with the prevention and control of disease and disability, and the promotion of physical and mental health of the population on the international, national, state, or municipal level.Delivery of Health Care: The concept concerned with all aspects of providing and distributing health services to a patient population.Quality Assurance, Health Care: Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.Quality Control: A system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in a product or process by careful planning, use of proper equipment, continued inspection, and corrective action as required. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Health Policy: Decisions, usually developed by government policymakers, for determining present and future objectives pertaining to the health care system.Health Surveys: A systematic collection of factual data pertaining to health and disease in a human population within a given geographic area.Health Care Reform: Innovation and improvement of the health care system by reappraisal, amendment of services, and removal of faults and abuses in providing and distributing health services to patients. It includes a re-alignment of health services and health insurance to maximum demographic elements (the unemployed, indigent, uninsured, elderly, inner cities, rural areas) with reference to coverage, hospitalization, pricing and cost containment, insurers' and employers' costs, pre-existing medical conditions, prescribed drugs, equipment, and services.Mental Health: The state wherein the person is well adjusted.Health Promotion: Encouraging consumer behaviors most likely to optimize health potentials (physical and psychosocial) through health information, preventive programs, and access to medical care.Health: The state of the organism when it functions optimally without evidence of disease.Quality Indicators, Health Care: Norms, criteria, standards, and other direct qualitative and quantitative measures used in determining the quality of health care.Health Care Surveys: Statistical measures of utilization and other aspects of the provision of health care services including hospitalization and ambulatory care.Attitude to Health: Public attitudes toward health, disease, and the medical care system.Primary Health Care: Care which provides integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. (JAMA 1995;273(3):192)Health Services Accessibility: The degree to which individuals are inhibited or facilitated in their ability to gain entry to and to receive care and services from the health care system. Factors influencing this ability include geographic, architectural, transportational, and financial considerations, among others.Health Planning: Planning for needed health and/or welfare services and facilities.Health Behavior: Behaviors expressed by individuals to protect, maintain or promote their health status. For example, proper diet, and appropriate exercise are activities perceived to influence health status. Life style is closely associated with health behavior and factors influencing life style are socioeconomic, educational, and cultural.Health Services: Services for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.Insurance, Health: Insurance providing coverage of medical, surgical, or hospital care in general or for which there is no specific heading.Health Personnel: Men and women working in the provision of health services, whether as individual practitioners or employees of health institutions and programs, whether or not professionally trained, and whether or not subject to public regulation. (From A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, 1976)Health Services Research: The integration of epidemiologic, sociological, economic, and other analytic sciences in the study of health services. Health services research is usually concerned with relationships between need, demand, supply, use, and outcome of health services. The aim of the research is evaluation, particularly in terms of structure, process, output, and outcome. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)World Health: The concept pertaining to the health status of inhabitants of the world.Health Services Needs and Demand: Health services required by a population or community as well as the health services that the population or community is able and willing to pay for.Health Education: Education that increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of health on a personal or community basis.Oral Health: The optimal state of the mouth and normal functioning of the organs of the mouth without evidence of disease.Health Expenditures: The amounts spent by individuals, groups, nations, or private or public organizations for total health care and/or its various components. These amounts may or may not be equivalent to the actual costs (HEALTH CARE COSTS) and may or may not be shared among the patient, insurers, and/or employers.Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice: Knowledge, attitudes, and associated behaviors which pertain to health-related topics such as PATHOLOGIC PROCESSES or diseases, their prevention, and treatment. This term refers to non-health workers and health workers (HEALTH PERSONNEL).Public Health Administration: Management of public health organizations or agencies.Environmental Health: The science of controlling or modifying those conditions, influences, or forces surrounding man which relate to promoting, establishing, and maintaining health.Health Status Disparities: Variation in rates of disease occurrence and disabilities between population groups defined by socioeconomic characteristics such as age, ethnicity, economic resources, or gender and populations identified geographically or similar measures.Occupational Health: The promotion and maintenance of physical and mental health in the work environment.Patient Acceptance of Health Care: The seeking and acceptance by patients of health service.Outcome Assessment (Health Care): Research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states (such as elevated blood pressure).National Health Programs: Components of a national health care system which administer specific services, e.g., national health insurance.Health Care Rationing: Planning for the equitable allocation, apportionment, or distribution of available health resources.Delivery of Health Care, Integrated: A health care system which combines physicians, hospitals, and other medical services with a health plan to provide the complete spectrum of medical care for its customers. In a fully integrated system, the three key elements - physicians, hospital, and health plan membership - are in balance in terms of matching medical resources with the needs of purchasers and patients. (Coddington et al., Integrated Health Care: Reorganizing the Physician, Hospital and Health Plan Relationship, 1994, p7)Mental Health Services: Organized services to provide mental health care.Health Priorities: Preferentially rated health-related activities or functions to be used in establishing health planning goals. This may refer specifically to PL93-641.Public Health Practice: The activities and endeavors of the public health services in a community on any level.Health Care Sector: Economic sector concerned with the provision, distribution, and consumption of health care services and related products.Women's Health: The concept covering the physical and mental conditions of women.Attitude of Health Personnel: Attitudes of personnel toward their patients, other professionals, toward the medical care system, etc.Rural Health: The status of health in rural populations.Community Health Services: Diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive health services provided for individuals in the community.Child Health Services: Organized services to provide health care for children.Quality Improvement: The attainment or process of attaining a new level of performance or quality.World Health Organization: A specialized agency of the United Nations designed as a coordinating authority on international health work; its aim is to promote the attainment of the highest possible level of health by all peoples.Urban Health: The status of health in urban populations.Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Health Literacy: Degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.Questionnaires: Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.Rural Health Services: Health services, public or private, in rural areas. The services include the promotion of health and the delivery of health care.Health Facilities: Institutions which provide medical or health-related services.Socioeconomic Factors: Social and economic factors that characterize the individual or group within the social structure.Community Health Planning: Planning that has the goals of improving health, improving accessibility to health services, and promoting efficiency in the provision of services and resources on a comprehensive basis for a whole community. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988, p299)Regional Health Planning: Planning for health resources at a regional or multi-state level.Total Quality Management: The application of industrial management practice to systematically maintain and improve organization-wide performance. Effectiveness and success are determined and assessed by quantitative quality measures.Health Manpower: The availability of HEALTH PERSONNEL. It includes the demand and recruitment of both professional and allied health personnel, their present and future supply and distribution, and their assignment and utilization.Health Resources: Available manpower, facilities, revenue, equipment, and supplies to produce requisite health care and services.Community Health Centers: Facilities which administer the delivery of health care services to people living in a community or neighborhood.Preventive Health Services: Services designed for HEALTH PROMOTION and prevention of disease.Electronic Health Records: Media that facilitate transportability of pertinent information concerning patient's illness across varied providers and geographic locations. Some versions include direct linkages to online consumer health information that is relevant to the health conditions and treatments related to a specific patient.Water Quality: A rating of a body of water based on measurable physical, chemical, and biological characteristics.Maternal Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to expectant and nursing mothers.Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care): Evaluation procedures that focus on both the outcome or status (OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT) of the patient at the end of an episode of care - presence of symptoms, level of activity, and mortality; and the process (ASSESSMENT, PROCESS) - what is done for the patient diagnostically and therapeutically.Health Occupations: Professions or other business activities directed to the cure and prevention of disease. For occupations of medical personnel who are not physicians but who are working in the fields of medical technology, physical therapy, etc., ALLIED HEALTH OCCUPATIONS is available.Health Benefit Plans, Employee: Health insurance plans for employees, and generally including their dependents, usually on a cost-sharing basis with the employer paying a percentage of the premium.Reproductive Health: The physical condition of human reproductive systems.Public Health Nursing: A nursing specialty concerned with promoting and protecting the health of populations, using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences to develop local, regional, state, and national health policy and research. It is population-focused and community-oriented, aimed at health promotion and disease prevention through educational, diagnostic, and preventive programs.Interviews as Topic: Conversations with an individual or individuals held in order to obtain information about their background and other personal biographical data, their attitudes and opinions, etc. It includes school admission or job interviews.Health Services for the Aged: Services for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the aged and the maintenance of health in the elderly.Program Evaluation: Studies designed to assess the efficacy of programs. They may include the evaluation of cost-effectiveness, the extent to which objectives are met, or impact.Occupational Health Services: Health services for employees, usually provided by the employer at the place of work.Reproducibility of Results: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.Health Plan Implementation: Those actions designed to carry out recommendations pertaining to health plans or programs.Prevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Patient Satisfaction: The degree to which the individual regards the health care service or product or the manner in which it is delivered by the provider as useful, effective, or beneficial.Great BritainHealth Services Administration: The organization and administration of health services dedicated to the delivery of health care.Public Health Informatics: The systematic application of information and computer sciences to public health practice, research, and learning.National Institutes of Health (U.S.): An operating division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. It is concerned with the overall planning, promoting, and administering of programs pertaining to health and medical research. Until 1995, it was an agency of the United States PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.State Health Plans: State plans prepared by the State Health Planning and Development Agencies which are made up from plans submitted by the Health Systems Agencies and subject to review and revision by the Statewide Health Coordinating Council.Health Care Coalitions: Voluntary groups of people representing diverse interests in the community such as hospitals, businesses, physicians, and insurers, with the principal objective to improve health care cost effectiveness.Catchment Area (Health): A geographic area defined and served by a health program or institution.Politics: Activities concerned with governmental policies, functions, etc.Health Maintenance Organizations: Organized systems for providing comprehensive prepaid health care that have five basic attributes: (1) provide care in a defined geographic area; (2) provide or ensure delivery of an agreed-upon set of basic and supplemental health maintenance and treatment services; (3) provide care to a voluntarily enrolled group of persons; (4) require their enrollees to use the services of designated providers; and (5) receive reimbursement through a predetermined, fixed, periodic prepayment made by the enrollee without regard to the degree of services provided. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.Chronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Treatment Outcome: Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.Mental Disorders: Psychiatric illness or diseases manifested by breakdowns in the adaptational process expressed primarily as abnormalities of thought, feeling, and behavior producing either distress or impairment of function.Food Quality: Ratings of the characteristics of food including flavor, appearance, nutritional content, and the amount of microbial and chemical contamination.Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.Reproductive Health Services: Health care services related to human REPRODUCTION and diseases of the reproductive system. Services are provided to both sexes and usually by physicians in the medical or the surgical specialties such as REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE; ANDROLOGY; GYNECOLOGY; OBSTETRICS; and PERINATOLOGY.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Women's Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to women. It excludes maternal care services for which MATERNAL HEALTH SERVICES is available.Health Planning Guidelines: Recommendations for directing health planning functions and policies. These may be mandated by PL93-641 and issued by the Department of Health and Human Services for use by state and local planning agencies.Urban Health Services: Health services, public or private, in urban areas. The services include the promotion of health and the delivery of health care.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Poverty: A situation in which the level of living of an individual, family, or group is below the standard of the community. It is often related to a specific income level.Health Services, Indigenous: Health care provided to specific cultural or tribal peoples which incorporates local customs, beliefs, and taboos.Family Health: The health status of the family as a unit including the impact of the health of one member of the family on the family as a unit and on individual family members; also, the impact of family organization or disorganization on the health status of its members.Healthcare Disparities: Differences in access to or availability of medical facilities and services.Health Records, Personal: Longitudinal patient-maintained records of individual health history and tools that allow individual control of access.Research Design: A plan for collecting and utilizing data so that desired information can be obtained with sufficient precision or so that an hypothesis can be tested properly.Men's Health: The concept covering the physical and mental conditions of men.Allied Health Personnel: Health care workers specially trained and licensed to assist and support the work of health professionals. Often used synonymously with paramedical personnel, the term generally refers to all health care workers who perform tasks which must otherwise be performed by a physician or other health professional.Qualitative Research: Any type of research that employs nonnumeric information to explore individual or group characteristics, producing findings not arrived at by statistical procedures or other quantitative means. (Qualitative Inquiry: A Dictionary of Terms Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1997)Cost-Benefit Analysis: A method of comparing the cost of a program with its expected benefits in dollars (or other currency). The benefit-to-cost ratio is a measure of total return expected per unit of money spent. This analysis generally excludes consideration of factors that are not measured ultimately in economic terms. Cost effectiveness compares alternative ways to achieve a specific set of results.Sex Factors: Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.Longitudinal Studies: Studies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over a period of time.Population Surveillance: Ongoing scrutiny of a population (general population, study population, target population, etc.), generally using methods distinguished by their practicability, uniformity, and frequently their rapidity, rather than by complete accuracy.Adolescent Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to adolescents, ages ranging from 13 through 18 years.Social Justice: An interactive process whereby members of a community are concerned for the equality and rights of all.Community Mental Health Services: Diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive mental health services provided for individuals in the community.Consumer Participation: Community or individual involvement in the decision-making process.Health Planning Support: Financial resources provided for activities related to health planning and development.Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Policy Making: The decision process by which individuals, groups or institutions establish policies pertaining to plans, programs or procedures.Rural Population: The inhabitants of rural areas or of small towns classified as rural.Sickness Impact Profile: A quality-of-life scale developed in the United States in 1972 as a measure of health status or dysfunction generated by a disease. It is a behaviorally based questionnaire for patients and addresses activities such as sleep and rest, mobility, recreation, home management, emotional behavior, social interaction, and the like. It measures the patient's perceived health status and is sensitive enough to detect changes or differences in health status occurring over time or between groups. (From Medical Care, vol.xix, no.8, August 1981, p.787-805)Psychometrics: Assessment of psychological variables by the application of mathematical procedures.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.School Health Services: Preventive health services provided for students. It excludes college or university students.Comprehensive Health Care: Providing for the full range of personal health services for diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and rehabilitation of patients.Schools, Public Health: Educational institutions for individuals specializing in the field of public health.Needs Assessment: Systematic identification of a population's needs or the assessment of individuals to determine the proper level of services needed.Program Development: The process of formulating, improving, and expanding educational, managerial, or service-oriented work plans (excluding computer program development).Educational Status: Educational attainment or level of education of individuals.United States Dept. of Health and Human Services: A cabinet department in the Executive Branch of the United States Government concerned with administering those agencies and offices having programs pertaining to health and human services.Private Sector: That distinct portion of the institutional, industrial, or economic structure of a country that is controlled or owned by non-governmental, private interests.Cooperative Behavior: The interaction of two or more persons or organizations directed toward a common goal which is mutually beneficial. An act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit, i.e., joint action. (From Random House Dictionary Unabridged, 2d ed)Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Regression Analysis: Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.Evidence-Based Medicine: An approach of practicing medicine with the goal to improve and evaluate patient care. It requires the judicious integration of best research evidence with the patient's values to make decisions about medical care. This method is to help physicians make proper diagnosis, devise best testing plan, choose best treatment and methods of disease prevention, as well as develop guidelines for large groups of patients with the same disease. (from JAMA 296 (9), 2006)Pilot Projects: Small-scale tests of methods and procedures to be used on a larger scale if the pilot study demonstrates that these methods and procedures can work.Depression: Depressive states usually of moderate intensity in contrast with major depression present in neurotic and psychotic disorders.Health Food: A non-medical term defined by the lay public as a food that has little or no preservatives, which has not undergone major processing, enrichment or refinement and which may be grown without pesticides. (from Segen, The Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)Activities of Daily Living: The performance of the basic activities of self care, such as dressing, ambulation, or eating.Social Class: A stratum of people with similar position and prestige; includes social stratification. Social class is measured by criteria such as education, occupation, and income.International Cooperation: The interaction of persons or groups of persons representing various nations in the pursuit of a common goal or interest.Stress, Psychological: Stress wherein emotional factors predominate.Financing, Government: Federal, state, or local government organized methods of financial assistance.Consumer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a benefit or service received.Australia: The smallest continent and an independent country, comprising six states and two territories. Its capital is Canberra.Social Support: Support systems that provide assistance and encouragement to individuals with physical or emotional disabilities in order that they may better cope. Informal social support is usually provided by friends, relatives, or peers, while formal assistance is provided by churches, groups, etc.Organizational Objectives: The purposes, missions, and goals of an individual organization or its units, established through administrative processes. It includes an organization's long-range plans and administrative philosophy.Process Assessment (Health Care): An evaluation procedure that focuses on how care is delivered, based on the premise that there are standards of performance for activities undertaken in delivering patient care, in which the specific actions taken, events occurring, and human interactions are compared with accepted standards.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.State Medicine: A system of medical care regulated, controlled and financed by the government, in which the government assumes responsibility for the health needs of the population.Organizational Case Studies: Descriptions and evaluations of specific health care organizations.Managed Care Programs: Health insurance plans intended to reduce unnecessary health care costs through a variety of mechanisms, including: economic incentives for physicians and patients to select less costly forms of care; programs for reviewing the medical necessity of specific services; increased beneficiary cost sharing; controls on inpatient admissions and lengths of stay; the establishment of cost-sharing incentives for outpatient surgery; selective contracting with health care providers; and the intensive management of high-cost health care cases. The programs may be provided in a variety of settings, such as HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS and PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS.Health Fairs: Community health education events focused on prevention of disease and promotion of health through audiovisual exhibits.BrazilEfficiency, Organizational: The capacity of an organization, institution, or business to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, personnel, materiel, etc.Health Communication: The transfer of information from experts in the medical and public health fields to patients and the public. The study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health.Residence Characteristics: Elements of residence that characterize a population. They are applicable in determining need for and utilization of health services.Insurance Coverage: Generally refers to the amount of protection available and the kind of loss which would be paid for under an insurance contract with an insurer. (Slee & Slee, Health Care Terms, 2d ed)EnglandHolistic Health: Health as viewed from the perspective that humans and other organisms function as complete, integrated units rather than as aggregates of separate parts.Cost of Illness: The personal cost of acute or chronic disease. The cost to the patient may be an economic, social, or psychological cost or personal loss to self, family, or immediate community. The cost of illness may be reflected in absenteeism, productivity, response to treatment, peace of mind, or QUALITY OF LIFE. It differs from HEALTH CARE COSTS, meaning the societal cost of providing services related to the delivery of health care, rather than personal impact on individuals.Employment: The state of being engaged in an activity or service for wages or salary.Netherlands: Country located in EUROPE. It is bordered by the NORTH SEA, BELGIUM, and GERMANY. Constituent areas are Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, formerly included in the NETHERLANDS ANTILLES.Dental Health Services: Services designed to promote, maintain, or restore dental health.Urban Population: The inhabitants of a city or town, including metropolitan areas and suburban areas.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Marketing of Health Services: Application of marketing principles and techniques to maximize the use of health care resources.Patient Education as Topic: The teaching or training of patients concerning their own health needs.Insurance, Health, Reimbursement: Payment by a third-party payer in a sum equal to the amount expended by a health care provider or facility for health services rendered to an insured or program beneficiary. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Interinstitutional Relations: The interactions between representatives of institutions, agencies, or organizations.Guidelines as Topic: A systematic statement of policy rules or principles. Guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by convening expert panels. The text may be cursive or in outline form but is generally a comprehensive guide to problems and approaches in any field of activity. For guidelines in the field of health care and clinical medicine, PRACTICE GUIDELINES AS TOPIC is available.Public Policy: A course or method of action selected, usually by a government, from among alternatives to guide and determine present and future decisions.Medical Informatics: The field of information science concerned with the analysis and dissemination of medical data through the application of computers to various aspects of health care and medicine.Government Agencies: Administrative units of government responsible for policy making and management of governmental activities.United States Public Health Service: A constituent organization of the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES concerned with protecting and improving the health of the nation.Public Sector: The area of a nation's economy that is tax-supported and under government control.Information Dissemination: The circulation or wide dispersal of information.Prepaid Health Plans: Contracts between an insurer and a subscriber or a group of subscribers whereby a specified set of health benefits is provided in return for a periodic premium.Information Services: Organized services to provide information on any questions an individual might have using databases and other sources. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Health Planning Councils: Organized groups serving in advisory capacities related to health planning activities.Social Responsibility: The obligations and accountability assumed in carrying out actions or ideas on behalf of others.Universal Coverage: Health insurance coverage for all persons in a state or country, rather than for some subset of the population. It may extend to the unemployed as well as to the employed; to aliens as well as to citizens; for pre-existing conditions as well as for current illnesses; for mental as well as for physical conditions.Practice Guidelines as Topic: Directions or principles presenting current or future rules of policy for assisting health care practitioners in patient care decisions regarding diagnosis, therapy, or related clinical circumstances. The guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by the convening of expert panels. The guidelines form a basis for the evaluation of all aspects of health care and delivery.Occupational Health Nursing: The practice of nursing in the work environment.Benchmarking: Method of measuring performance against established standards of best practice.EuropeFamily Practice: A medical specialty concerned with the provision of continuing, comprehensive primary health care for the entire family.Ethnic Groups: A group of people with a common cultural heritage that sets them apart from others in a variety of social relationships.Multivariate Analysis: A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.Health Transition: Demographic and epidemiologic changes that have occurred in the last five decades in many developing countries and that are characterized by major growth in the number and proportion of middle-aged and elderly persons and in the frequency of the diseases that occur in these age groups. The health transition is the result of efforts to improve maternal and child health via primary care and outreach services and such efforts have been responsible for a decrease in the birth rate; reduced maternal mortality; improved preventive services; reduced infant mortality, and the increased life expectancy that defines the transition. (From Ann Intern Med 1992 Mar 15;116(6):499-504)History, 20th Century: Time period from 1901 through 2000 of the common era.Research: Critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation, having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical application of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws. (Webster, 3d ed)Decision Making, Organizational: The process by which decisions are made in an institution or other organization.Maternal-Child Health Centers: Facilities which administer the delivery of health care services to mothers and children.Demography: Statistical interpretation and description of a population with reference to distribution, composition, or structure.Education, Public Health Professional: Education and training in PUBLIC HEALTH for the practice of the profession.Self Report: Method for obtaining information through verbal responses, written or oral, from subjects.Costs and Cost Analysis: Absolute, comparative, or differential costs pertaining to services, institutions, resources, etc., or the analysis and study of these costs.