Skip to main content

Glossary of Terms


Admission Admission of a client to hospital as an inpatient.

Appointment An event in a PHC outpatient clinic. A scheduled booking for a client to attend a clinic. Once the client arrives, an event occurs e.g. procedure or consultation, and is attached to the appointment. If the client is a no-show or must be cancelled, the appointment will still appear to users but will display the relevant status e.g. no-show, cancelled.

CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada's health system and the health of Canadians. Our stakeholders use our broad range of health databases, measurements and standards, together with our evidence-based reports and analyses, in their day-to-day decision-making. We protect the privacy of Canadians by ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our health care information.

Client An individual consumer of Fraser Health or Providence Health Care or Provincial Health Services Authority or Vancouver Coastal Health healthcare services who can be either a Patient or Resident or Tenant.

Client Identity is a  set of information (typically including name, date of birth, gender and Client Identifier) that uniquely identifies a Client.

Confidentiality is our obligation to keep business and personal information protected from access by others who do not need to know it. Ensuring the confidentiality of information entrusted to us is a legal requirement, a professional standard and an ethical obligation to our patients, residents and employees.

CRIS Client Registration & Information Services is responsible for training and ensuring data quality in and providing user support for client registration in the Eclipsys Access Manager, ED Manager and Enterprise Scheduling systems.

CST (Clinical & Systems Transformation project) is the transformation of clinical practices and systems across B.C. Health Organizations CST: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and Providence Health Care (PHC).

Clinical Information System is a computer system designed for collecting, storing, amending and retrieving information relevant to healthcare delivery.

Discharge The release (to home, to another hospital or institution) or death of a person who was admitted to a hospital on an inpatient or day surgery basis. It is also referred to as an encounter with the health care system or hospital event. 

Electronic Health Record (EHR) provides each client with a lifetime record of his or her health history and care.  The record is available electronically to authorized care providers.  Also known as an e- Health record.

  1. An electronic health record (EHR) is a secure, integrated collection of a person’s encounters with the health care system; it provides a comprehensive digital view of a patient’s health history.
  2. A longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care deliver setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports and images. The EHR automates and streamlines the clinician’s workflow. The EHR has the ability to generate a complete record of a clinical patient encounter, as well as supporting other care-related activities directly or indirectly via interface; including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.
  3. Health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one healthcare organization. 

EMPI (Enterprise Master Patient Index) is a provincial software system that can detect multiple client identities for a single client. An EMPI stores, in its own database, client demographic attributes such as name, address, gender and date of birth.

FIPPA Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of British Columbia.

Health Organization means any Health Authority in British Columbia or its affiliates.

ICD-10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO). It contains codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases.

IMITS means the consolidated Information Management/Information Technology Services department of Provincial Health Services Authority, Providence Health Care, and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Most Responsible Provider Service is the health care provider specialty most responsible for the care of the client during his or her inpatient hospital stays e.g. cardiac surgery or internal medicine.

NACRS (National Ambulatory Care Reporting System) NACRS defines this database as "Patient activity for ambulatory care reporting encompasses visits to the emergency departments, day surgical units, medical day and night care clinics, outpatient clinics in hospitals and communities."

Next-of-Kin (NOK) The  NOK  is  entered  so  staff  can  determine  who  the  person  legally responsible is to make a decision if the client is not able.  NOK is also required if the client's condition declines.  Clients cannot choose their NOK. It is legally determined and has a specific order.  (This is why we ask the client's marital status.)

Patients and Residents mean all people receiving services from PHC. For ease of language, Assisted Living tenants are not specifically named but are implied in any reference to patient/resident. 

Personal Information FOIPPA (see FOIPA for its definition) identifies Personal Information as recorded information about an identifiable individual, including: the individual's name, address or telephone number the individual's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, or religious or political beliefs or associations the individual's age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or family status an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual the individual's fingerprints, blood type or inheritable characteristics information about the individual's health care history, including a physical or mental disability information about the individual's educational, financial, criminal or employment history, anyone else's opinions about the individual, and, the individual's personal views or opinions, except if they are about someone else.

PCIS (Patient Care Information System) Integrated computer systems used to incorporate all client information for all aspects of health care.

PHN (Personal Health Number) A unique, numerical lifetime identifier used in the specific identification of an individual client or patient who has any interaction with the BC health system. It is assigned only to and used by one person and will not be assigned to any other person at any time. Whether a person is eligible for benefits under the Medical Services Plan (MSP) must be determined at the time of registration. Having a PHN does not ensure a person has benefits.

Population Health / Population-Based Needs Care looks at the health care needs of a specific population and making health care decisions for the population as a whole rather than for individuals. Health care practitioners using similar treatment recommendations or guidelines for populations with a specific disease, injury or illness.

Pre-Registration Clients are pre-registered in order to expedite the registration process and manage administrative workload.  Clients may be pre-registered in order to obtain placement on a waitlist. Pre-registered visits are not considered active visits.  Clinic activity may not be attached to a pre-registration for healthcare locations within Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care and Provincial Health Services Authority; However clinic activity may be included at Fraser Health healthcare locations.

Privacy is a fundamental right all individuals have to control when, how and to what extent their personal information is shared with others.

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) means the assessment of a current or proposed initiative (a system, project, program, or activity) to evaluate privacy impacts, including evaluating compliance with this Policy and with PHC’s privacy responsibilities under FIPPA.

Provider is any healthcare professional licensed to prescribe or write an order, including physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists and dentists.

Registration The registration of clients, including in person, a specimen, film or a phone call, in the registration system, ensuring accurate identity of the client at point of registration. This involves searching for the client, selecting the correct client, verifying client demographics and updating if required.

Registration Clerk Staff responsible for registration of clients and ensuring accurate identity of the client at point of registration.  This involves interviewing the client, searching for the client, selecting the correct client in the registration computer system, verifying client demographics, and updating if required.

Resident of British Columbia A person who 1) is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada 2) makes his or her home in BC; lives in BC for at least six months in a calendar year – not a tourist or visitor and it includes deemed residents as per the regulations.

SNOMED CT is the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine. SNOMED CT is a standardized, multilingual vocabulary of clinical terminology (anatomy, diseases, findings, procedures, microorganisms, substances) that is used by physicians and other health care providers for the electronic exchange of clinical health information.

Telehealth The Telehealth Visit Type is used when the client does not attend in person nor is seen in person off-site.  All contact is verbal or written.

SOURCE: Glossary of Terms ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © Provincial Health Services Authority. All Rights Reserved.