What is Quaternary care? It is a relatively new term that has been developed and directed at the pediatric population with a focus on early childhood, but bearing resemblance to the more familiar term special needs care. In this case it refers to the direct care provided for an infant or young child, rather than the more widespread practice of visiting family doctors or other such healthcare professionals. The term Quaternary care can be used as an extension of special needs care, in reference to more specialist levels of medical care that are often highly specialized and thus not widely available to the general population. As with special needs care, there are providers who specialize in this area and serve the public, but there are also many places for an infant or young child to seek care that is readily available to all.
A short description of Quaternary care services can be found here. Quaternary care services generally refer to the direct care provided by licensed persons other than health care facilities. This includes licensed adoption agencies and private hospitals represent a majority of places where an infant might be placed in order to receive care that is specialized for the type of need represented. These licensed persons include social workers, psychologists, nurses and pediatricians.
There are several types of agencies that provide this service. One of the largest of these would be the Joint Commission. Among its many responsibilities is the regulation of hospitals represent a major portion of the organization. In fact, the only state that does not have a board of physicians and surgeons and no Joint Commission on Social Services are Texas. The organization is responsible for the regulation of public health care facilities in all fifty states.
In many cases, the Joint Commission oversees the oversight of hospital delivery systems, but in a large number of facilities the independent oversight is carried out by individual boards appointed by each state. In this way, it is represented at the state level by the Office of the Commissioner of Health. Each state also has a department of Social Service, which is responsible for overseeing the delivery system. The Department of Family Services is responsible for overseeing juvenile, maternity and adoption services.
In most cases, the state has been seen as the weaker partner in a health care delivery system due to the significant influence that the Department of Family Services wields over the department. These services work to oversee compliance with the regulations contained within the Physician Quality Reporting Act (PCRA). The act is designed to hold health care providers accountable for their treatment of individuals under their care. While the PCRA is itself a complex legal document, it is the regulation of the majority of HCAHPS states that directly impacts the Quaternary care services that are offered in their states.
One of the main ways that states regulate the health care delivery systems is through the establishment of a “compulsory drug delivery system.” This is where, when a patient is admitted to a hospital or other inpatient facility, their doctors must submit to the licensing agency a written documentation detailing the exact steps that will be taken should the patient request drug intervention. For example, should a patient who is currently undergoing chemotherapy request a non-pharmacological treatment option, the doctor’s name will need to be mentioned on the patient’s form. If the patient were to choose another medication, the physician responsible for the care would then need to have it noted in the same manner.
Other areas of the health care delivery system that will be governed by the PCRA are those that pertain to patient education. This includes but is not limited to, informing patients about the risks associated with particular medications and educating them about the frequency of drug delivery. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that patients understand the risk that is associated with their medications, so that they can make informed decisions regarding their use. Some other types of educational instruction that might be required by state regulations include AIDS education, cancer education, diabetes education and immunization education.
If you have any questions about what is Quaternary care, your best bet is probably to contact a patient advocate. These individuals work on various issues with health care providers on behalf of their patients. Typically they will do quite a bit to ensure that your doctor is following the appropriate guidelines and is offering you the best care possible. They also can help educate you about alternative therapies that may be able to help you manage your pain and your disease, without placing your health at further risk. In the end, your health should always be your number one priority, but sometimes other priorities will come up and you may need someone to step in and make sure that you are getting the best possible care.