By Institute of Medicine, Division of Health Care Services
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Extra info for Community Oriented Primary Care : New Directions for Health Services Delivery.
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A list or register of the total eligible population may be invaluable not only for epidemiological planning and organizational purposes, but also for the identification of specific individuals who may require follow-up or care, such as elderly people with whom there has been no contact for some time. The information that may be collected includes the following: 1. Demographic information on the community or the population eligible for the service—the size of the population, its demographic characteristics, such as its age, sex, and ethnic distribution, and its mobility.
Critical to the diagnosis is a judgment as to whether the patient has a disease or not. If so, what is the nature of the disease, its natural history and hence the patient's prognosis, and the management needed? If not, the patient is often reassured, and the practitioner's task is ended for that particular event. This division of health into two distinct categories—disease and no disease, illness or wellness—is becoming more difficult to define or even conceptualize. Advances in measurement of various health-relevant characteristics, somatic, psychological, or social, make it increasingly difficult to divide the universe into two discrete groups, the healthy and the sick.