Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the state of total physical, mental and social wellness and not simply the absence of sickness and disease.” Over the years, a variety of definitions have also been applied for various purposes. In defining health, some universal observations are also included in the discussion. The word “health” itself is subject to interpretation and controversy.
Generally, a health system is a collection of services and supports that are designed to promote health. Individuals who participate in the health care system are known as users or consumers. A provider is a person who provides health care. The overall function of the health care system is to treat, prevent, and control diseases, disorders and injuries that occur within the health care environment. A health care definition may incorporate several other factors, including an effective prevention and control strategy, comprehensive assessment and evaluation of a healthcare system’s effectiveness, and reporting of health-related outcomes and risks.
The definition of “mental health” refers to a persons ability to deal with challenges in life. Mental health includes the ability to know, handle, and cope with changing emotions, problems, and opportunities. Mental health also includes the capacity to concentrate, maintain concentration, and focus on things that stimulate the mind. The American Psychological Association has six major benchmarks on which the definition of mental health is based, and these include: having well-developed and properly functioning cognitive abilities, having a positive self image, having a sense of humor, having realistic expectations, and having a strong sense of social well-being.
Health services are offered to individuals in their home, in a health care facility, at a hospital, in an assisted living facility, or in an assisted care program. A health service is any activity or program that helps restore, maintain, improve, or assist health. Examples of health services include physical therapy, speech language therapy, and occupational therapy. The level of health services needed varies by each person, depending on their physical condition, age, and other health factors. Some health problems require a hospital stay; others may only require assistance at home. The services provided to an individual are defined by the limitations of the individual.
The definition of community health management focuses on preventing illness, promoting health, limiting health risk, and making health care available to all people in need. Community health systems refer to a set of coordinated efforts by public, private, and civic organizations to promote healthy living. This definition does not include every type of community health system, but it includes several. Community health systems include a variety of approaches, such as reducing health disparities by promoting better access to quality health care, creating partnerships between care and prevention, encouraging healthy behaviors such as exercise and diet, and identifying and reducing risk factors. In some settings, community health systems include a variety of organizations and agencies that work in coordination with each other to provide more comprehensive services.
Another important feature of this definition is that it explicitly leaves room for interdependence among health systems. Community health systems often function as one unit, although there may be instances where people from different health care settings visit the same clinic or facility on occasion. This type of system is characterized by its focus on coordinating care among multiple entities, rather than providing care from a singular point of view. The definition maintains that there is a crucial need for coordinated care in many settings, including primary care, specialty hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health care, and other community-based health systems.