Clinical settings include primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care settings. Primary care clinical settings are typically the first point of contact individuals have with the medical system. The majority of health care, including mental health care, is provided in the primary care setting. Family medicine (family practice), internal medicine, pediatric, and sometimes obstetrics and gynecological clinics are classified as primary care clinical settings. Primary care clinical settings are distinguished from other specialty care settings because no referral is needed for care, and it is the source of care continuity and advocacy for the patient. The full spectrum of health care from health promotion, disease prevention, and assessment and treatment of acute and chronic medical conditions occurs in primary care (American Academy of Family Physicians 2011; Shi and Singh 2010).
References and Further Reading
- American Academy of Family Physicians. (2011). Primary care. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/policies/p/primarycare.html#Parsys0002
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Physicians (ACP), American Osteopathic Association (AOA). (2007). Joint principles of the patient centered medical home. Retrieved from http://www.pcpcc.net/joint-principles
- Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2010). Essentials of the U.S. health care system. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett.Google Scholar