Acute Care Hospitals: Hospitals that provide inpatient medical care services to surgical patients, or those with acute medical conditions or injuries.
Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI): An AMI is the medical term for a heart attack, which is a medical emergency. It occurs when the blood vessels supplying the heart with oxygen become clogged either by blood clots or plaques. Once the blood flow has been interrupted, the heart muscle begins to die.
AFib: Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), and involves the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart.
AFlutter: Atrial flutter (AFlutter) is an abnormal heart rhythm that occurs in the atria of the heart. When it first occurs, it is usually associated with a fast heart rate or tachycardia (230–380 beats per minute).
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors: ACE inhibitors are a medicine used to treat patients with heart failure, and are particularly beneficial in those patients with heart failure and decreased function of the left side of the heart. ACE inhibitors work by limiting the effects of a hormone that narrows blood vessels, and may thus lower blood pressure, and reduce the work the heart has to perform.
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs): ARBs are a medicine used to treat patients with heart failure, and are particularly beneficial in those patients with heart failure and decreased function of the left side of the heart. ARBs work by limiting the effects of a hormone that narrows blood vessels, and may thus lower blood pressure, and reduce the work the heart has to perform.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are medicines that fight infections by either killing bacteria, or keeping them from reproducing.
Anticoagulants: Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are medicines that delay the clotting of blood. They make it harder for clots to form, or keep existing clots from enlarging your heart, veins or arteries.
Antithrombotic: An antithrombotic is a drug that reduces blood clot formation.
Beta Blockers: Beta blockers are a type of medicine that is used to lower blood pressure, treat chest pain (angina) and heart failure, and help prevent a heart attack. Beta blockers relieve the stress on your heart by slowing the heart rate, and reducing the force with which your heart muscles contract to pump blood. They also help keep blood vessels from constricting in your heart, brain and body.
Blood Culture: A blood culture is a test to find an infection in the blood.
Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is a statistical measure that compares a person’s weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the percentage of body fat, it is used to estimate a healthy body weight based on a person’s height. Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problems within a population, usually whether individuals are underweight overweight or obese.
CAP – Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP): CAP is a disease in which individuals who have not recently been hospitalized develop an infection of the lungs (pneumonia).
Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI): A central line is a tube that is placed into a patient’s large vein. A bloodstream infection can occur when microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi) travel around or through the tube, attach and multiply on the tubing or in fluid administered through the tubing, and then enter the blood.
Colon Surgery: Colon surgery is a procedure performed on the lower part of the digestive tract, also known as the large intestine or colon.
Coronary Care Unit (CCU): The CCU is a specialized unit providing acute care for adult and geriatric critically ill cardiac patients.
Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition in which a person has a high blood sugar (glucose) level, either because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or because body cells don’t properly respond to the insulin that is produced. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that enables body cells to absorb glucose to turn into energy. If the body cells do not absorb the glucose, the glucose accumulates in the blood, leading to vascular, nerve and other complications.
DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis): DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein that is deep inside the body.
Dysphagia: Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing.
Extended Care Facilities: Known by the public as nursing homes, these facilities provide a variety of services to people of all ages. The staff helps patients with health or personal needs such as walking, eating and going to the bathroom.
Fibronolytic Therapy: Use of Fibronolytic drugs, which are medicines that can help dissolve blood clots in blood vessels and improve blood flow to your heart.
Hip Replacement: Hip replacement is surgically performed by removing damaged cartilage and bone from the hip joint, and replacing them with new man-made parts.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Hypertension has no symptoms. It is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body, and can cause hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart failure.
Heart Attack: See “Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI).”
Heart Failure: Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle weakens and can’t pump blood efficiently. Because the “pump” is failing, it can cause blood to “back up,” which results in congestion. Congestion leads to fluid buildup in the lungs and other body tissues.
HCAHPS: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. HCAHPS is an instrument to measure patient perceptions of care. This measurement would be used to publicly report hospital performance (quality of care as perceived by patients). The categories on the survey focus on communication with doctors and nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, cleanliness and quietness of the environment, and instructions about medications and discharge.
Influenza: Commonly known as the “flu,” it is an acute, infectious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that change from year to year (which is why people must get a flu vaccine each year). Influenza typically has a sudden onset, and its symptoms include chills, fever, coughs, headache, muscle aches, and a dry cough.
Immunocompetent: Immunocompetence is the ability of the body to produce a normal immune response (i.e., antibody production and/or cell-mediated immunity) following exposure to an antigen, which might be an actual virus itself, or an immunization shot.
IV-tPA (Intravenous tissue type plasminogen activator): IV tPA is a clot-busting treatment used to treat acute ischemic stroke patients.
LDL 100: The optimal level of LDL (bad) cholesterol is less than 100mg/dl.
Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (LVSD): LVSD is a classification of heart failure. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle weakens, and can’t pump blood efficiently. Because the “pump” is failing it can cause blood to “back up,” which results in congestion. Congestion leads to fluid buildup in the lungs and other body tissues.
Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU): The Medical Intensive Care Unit is a specialized unit providing acute care for adult and geriatric critically ill medical patients.
Mortality Rate: Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths (in general or due to a specific cause) in some population, scaled to the size of that population per unit time.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): NICU is an intensive care unit created for sick newborns that need specialized treatment.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (CCU) is a specialized unit providing acute care for pediatric critically ill patients.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a serious lung infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria. It can result in difficulty breathing, fever, cough and fatigue.
Pneumococcal Vaccine: The pneumococcal vaccine may help you prevent or lower the risk of complications of pneumonia caused by bacteria. It may also help you prevent future infections.
Pressure Ulcer: A pressure ulcer, also known as a bed sore, is a skin wound that usually develops on the lower back, hip, ankle, back of the head, heel or elbow. They are usually caused when soft tissue is compressed between a bony area and an external surface for an extended period of time.
Prophylaxis: Prophylaxis is a measure taken for the prevention of a disease or condition.
Statin Therapy: Statin therapy is treatment with medications that lower cholesterol.
Stroke: A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery, or when a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die, and brain damage occurs. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain may be lost.
Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU): The Surgical Intensive Care Unit is a specialized unit providing acute care for adult and geriatric critically ill surgical patients.
Surgical Site Infections (SSIs): SSIs are infections that occur after an operation in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Most SSIs are limited, and only involve the skin surrounding the incision; others may be deeper and more serious.
Smoking Cessation: Quitting smoking is important for your health, and provides many benefits. Soon after you quit, your circulation begins to improve, and your blood pressure starts to return to normal. Your sense of smell and taste return, and breathing starts to become easier. In the long term, giving up tobacco can help you live longer. Your risk of getting cancer decreases with each year you stay smoke-free.
Tobacco-related Disease: Illnesses caused by smoking, inhaling or chewing tobacco, including lung cancer, emphysema and oral cancers.
Umbilical Line: An umbilical line is a catheter that is inserted into one of the two arteries or the vein of the umbilical cord. This line is generally used in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), as it provides quick access to the central circulation of premature infants.
Vaccination: The administration of killed, live or weakened forms of pathogens (such as bacteria or viruses) to produce immunity, or lessen the effects of infection by a pathogen. Common vaccines include polio, measles, diphtheria, tetanus and the flu.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE): Venous thromboembolism is a disease that includes deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the veins) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs).