Health Care Glossary

A lexicon defines words in context of a certain field/body of work, etc. Therefore, the definitions are in context of health, and AHS in some cases.

Have a term that and you do not know what it is? Contact us.



Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – an AED is a portable electronic device that automatically analyzes the rhythm of a person’s heart. If the device detects a problem with the heart’s rythm, it can deliver a shock that restores a normal heart rhythm. AEDs are designed to be simple to use, and are installed throughout many Albertan communities, including in schools, recreational centres, arenas and airports. Learn about these life-saving devices in Alberta.

Acuity – this is a word used to describe how sick a patient is. If you are sick, your healthcare providers will determine your acuity based on how serious your symptoms and conditions are. Your care providers are then able to determine what care you need, and when or where you need it.

Acute Care – usually delivered in a hospital-like setting, acute care is the type of care that your healthcare team will provide if you are sick or injured, or recovering from a treatment such as surgery. When you are admitted to an acute care hospital to receive care, you are usually called an “inpatient”. Use the AHS Health Care Locator tool to find acute care facilities serving Alberta’s communities.

Addiction – is the continued use of a harmful substance, or a pattern of harmful behaviour, that can include, but is not limited to, drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, or tobacco use. If you, or a loved one, are concerned about addiction or substance abuse, AHS is here to help. Learn about AHS’ addictions & substance abuse programs, services and more.

Addiction & Substance Abuse Helpline – if you have concerns about Addictions & Substance Abuse, you can call 1-866-332-2322, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to reach expert health professionals who can help you find the addiction services office near you, and connect you with other supports and services.

Addiction and Mental Health Services – Alberta Health Services offers a range of programs, services and facilities that support Albertans with mental health or addiction concerns. Learn more about addictions & substance abuse supports. Learn more about mental health & wellness in Alberta.

Admitting/Admissions – when you need to stay in a care facility overnight, as an inpatient, you will be admitted to that facility. The Admitting process begins in the Emergency Department and/or outpatient registration area, where a healthcare provider will ask you for your personal health information and insurance information. You will then be directed to a room or unit in the facility, where you will receive the care you need.

Advanced Care Planning – Advance Care Planning is the process of thinking about your wishes for health care, and documenting those wishes. AHS is here to support all Albertans, and their families, in this process. Find information, and resources, to support patients, families and healthcare providers with this planning.

Ambulance – (also called “Ground Ambulance”) is a specially equipped vehicle that is used to treat and transport Albertans from an emergency scene, to a hospital. Ambulances are also used to transfer Albertans between health care facilities.

Advance Life Support (ALS) Ambulances - ALS ambulances are equipped to provide the highest level of care, and can be used to respond to complex medical situations. Staff on the ALS Ambulances include at least one paramedic with expanded training & scope of practice. Equipment on board can allow staff to provide more life saving treatments including advanced airway (breathing) assistance and medication administration.

Advisory Councils –Alberta Health Services team is committed to engaging the public in a respectful, open and accountable manner to support the strategic direction of the organization. Community input and feedback allows us to better address the health needs of communities. Our Advisory Councils help us connect with Albertans, and integrate feedback into the health care we deliver. Learn more about Advisory Councils in Alberta.

Aging In Place – we know that Albertans want to live at home for as long as possible during their senior years. This is often called “aging in place”, and AHS works with Albertans to ensure they receive the support they need to stay healthy – and independent – in their own homes, for as long as possible. Learn more about Seniors Living Options.

Air Ambulance – an emergency medical aircraft used to transport patients either long distances or more quickly than a ground ambulance. In Alberta, helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes are used as Air Ambulances.

Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) – The Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary is used by patients from birth to age 18 from southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia and southeastern Saskatchewan. The facility offers a full range of inpatient and outpatient services including emergency.

Alberta Health (AH) – the ministry of the Government of Alberta that is responsible for setting healthcare policy, legislation and standards for the health system in Alberta. Alberta Health Services receives funding for healthcare from Alberta Health. Learn more about Alberta Health.

Alberta Hospital Edmonton (AHE) – Alberta Hospital Edmonton is a psychiatric hospital in Edmonton. Admission and continuing treatment at Alberta Hospital Edmonton can be voluntary, formal under the Mental Health Act, or in the Forensic Psychiatry Program under the Criminal Code of Canada. Each program at AHE has an inpatient and a community component. Interdisciplinary teams are made up of program managers, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychometrists, nurses, psychiatric aides, social workers, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, physiotherapists, therapy assistants, counselors, pharmacists, dieticians, chaplains and support staff.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) – we are the dedicated health professionals, support staff, volunteers and physicians who promote the wellness of, and provide care to, the more than 3.8 million people that we call our fellow Albertans. Learn more about AHS, our mission, and how your needs and priorities drive everything we do, every day.

Alberta Health Services Board (the Board; AHS Board) – Alberta Health Services is governed by the Alberta Health Services Board. The Board – which reports to Alberta’s Minister of Health - is led by a Board Chair, as well as appointed Board Members. Learn more about the Board Chair, Board Members, and access the schedule of public Board Meetings.

Alberta Precision LabsAlberta Precision Laboratories (APL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alberta Health Services (AHS), delivering high-quality, responsive diagnostic lab services to Albertans, across our healthcare system.

Alberta Quits – Albertans wanting to reduce or quit using tobacco (smoking, chewing, or other forms) don’t have to do it alone. Through Alberta Quits, Albertans can access tobacco cessation support programs, services and supports, online, by telephone, in person (including in group settings), and even on the go, through text messaging! All Alberta Quits services are available to all Albertans, free of charge. Learn more about all Alberta Quits supports and services.

Ambulatory Care Centres – In some communities in Alberta, Ambulatory Care Centres provide timely diagnosis and treatment for urgent, but non-life-threatening conditions, including sudden illness or injuries that can be normally treated in a doctor’s office, but which require immediate attention. Learn more about your healthcare options.

Allied Health Professionals – Allied Health Professionals in Alberta Health Services fill a wide range of clinical and support roles in facilities across the provinces. Allied health professionals are health care practitioners with formal education and clinical training who are credentialed through certification, registration and/or licensure. They collaborate with physicians and other members of the health care team to deliver high quality patient care services for the identification, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disabilities and disorders.



Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulances – BLS ambulances are staffed with Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) or Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) , and equipped with a standard level that allows them to provide essential medical care for Albertans, including basic patient assessment and treatment (e.g. vital signs, administering oxygen).

Borderless System – to help ensure Albertans get the quickest possible response to their needs for urgent emergency care , AHS directs the available ambulance that is closest to an emergency scene to respond to the emergency, regardless of the community from which that ambulance originates. This is called a borderless system.



CapitalCare - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alberta Health Services, offering programs and services in the Edmonton-area, including long-term care , supportive living , and home care programs. 

Carewest – a wholly owned subsidiary of Alberta Health Services, offering programs and services including long-term care , rehabilitation and recovery services, and community programs, in the Calgary-area. 

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) – an intensive care unit in a hospital (acute care facility) staffed with highly trained healthcare providers and physicians, who monitor and care for patients with life threatening heart and circulation issues. Patients who have undergone cardiovascular surgeries, including transplants, may be cared for on a CVICU. 

Computed Tomography (CT Scan; cat Scan) – is a painless medical imaging procedure where xrays of specific areas of the body can be combined to show a three-dimensional image of the inside of the body. CT imaging has the unique ability to image a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. 

Continuing Care – is care provided outside of an acute care facility or hospital, and may include such options as home care, supportive living, and long-term care .

Covenant Health – is Canada’s largest Catholic healthcare provider, in Alberta’s integrated health system. Covenant Health works with Alberta Health Services and community partners to positively influence the health of Albertans through a broad range of programs and services in 18 hospitals, health centres and continuing care facilities in 12 communities throughout Alberta. 

Central Alberta Cancer Centre (CACC) – Central Alberta Cancer Centre in Red Deer. Part of a provincewide strategy to open a corridor of cancer care treatment centres across Alberta.

Chinook Regional Hospital (CRH) – in Lethbridge provides services including 24-hour emergency, obstetrics, surgery, acute geriatrics, mental health, acute care, acute geriatrics and intensive care.

Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) – Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton is the comprehensive cancer centre for northern Alberta and a lead centre for the province-wide prevention, research and treatment program. The Cross Cancer Institute provides advanced medical and supportive cancer care, patient and professional education, and conducts research through the Alberta Cancer Research Institute.

Closest Available Ambulance – when an emergency call is received, the expert who answers the call (in the Communications Centre ) is able to see the location of all EMS resources. Using this ability, the expert immediately sends the ambulance that is closest to the emergency to respond. This ensures to that Albertans get the quickest possible response to their needs for urgent emergency care, regardless of the community where the unit originates. 

Communications Centre – also known as a dispatch centre, 911 emergency calls are answered at the Communications Centre, where expertly trained providers send appropriate EMS resources to respond to an emergency.

Community Paramedics – EMS Practitioners who use their skills and knowledge to provide health care outside of the traditional emergency response. Community paramedics can be found in emergency departments , and other care centres/facilities.

Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) – using a computerized system, this method allows experts in the Communications Centre to collect necessary information and send EMS resources to respond to an emergency call, ensuring Albertans get the care they need, as quickly as they need it.

Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury (CMHBI) – a centre in Ponoka that treats psychiatric disorders and people who have suffered a brain injury. The Centennial Centre is one of the most modern mental health referral centres in Western Canada.

Community Health Centres (CHC) - provide a wide range of health services which may include prenatal, postpartum, health promotion, disease and injury prevention, bereavement services, communicable disease and school health, immunization and many other community care public health and wellness programs. May also be called a Public Health Clinic or Public Health Office. Use the AHS Health Care Locator tool to find community health centres and public health offices in your community.

Contracted Service Providers – are under contract to AHS to provide Emergency Medical Services for a community or geographic region. Contracted providers are held to the same standards as AHS EMS.

Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) – When you arrive at an Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre , your illness or injuries will be assessed against this scale, so as to determine the care you need, and when you need it. The CTAS ranges from CTAS-1 – defined as patients requiring immediate intervention and possibly resuscitation - , to CTAS-4 and CTAS-5 – less urgent and non urgent conditions, that don’t require the same immediate care as conditions assessed as more serious. 



Diagnostic Imaging (DI) – tests that help diagnose and treat a broad variety of conditions. 

Discharged – if you have been receiving care as an inpatient admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility, and are then approved by your physician to be released from that hospital, either to return home or receive care in the community, you are “discharged” from care.

Day surgery – when you undergo a surgical procedure in a healthcare facility, but are not required to stay overnight after your surgery takes place, you have had what is called a “day surgery”. Some day surgery procedures may require you to remain in hospital for monitoring and care afterwards, just not overnight.

Direct Delivery – Alberta Health Services is directly responsible for providing EMS services to communities in Alberta.

Dispatch – the process through which notification of a medical emergency is received by the Communications Centre, and the appropriate EMS resources are sent to respond. Through the experts in the Commuications Centre , EMS resources are dispatched to help Albertans requiring urgent emergency medical care, across Alberta, each and every day.



Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – an ECG/EKG is a non-invasive and painless test that records the electrical activity of your heart. 

Emergency Department (ED) – (also known as emergency room (ER)), if you are concerned that you are seriously ill or injured, go to the nearest Emergency Department, or call 911. Emergency Departments provide care to individuals suffering from life threatening to minor conditions. Emergency Departments are do NOT provide care on a first-come, first-serve basis. The most critical (sick) patients will receive care first; all patients who present at the ED are triaged to determine what care they need, and how quickly they need that care. 

Emergency Inpatient (EIP) is a patient who has been admitted through the emergency department and is waiting to be moved to an inpatient bed. 

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) – When you need urgent emergency care, AHS Emergency Medical Services, or EMS, is there for you. More than a transport service for patients – EMS is a critical clinical service, and in an emergency situation, EMS teams are dispatched and begin providing treatment as soon as they arrive. No matter where an emergency happens in Alberta, AHS EMS cares for, and transports patients, by either a ground ambulance or air ambulance . 

EMS Medical Protocols – clearly defined clinical treatment pathways that EMS staff follow when providing care; ensures consistent standards of care are being provided province-wide.

EMS Personnel – staff working in ambulances to provide vital out-of-hospital emergency care. There are three levels of EMS Practitioners providing services in Alberta:

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) – have advanced first-aid training

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – have comprehensive training than EMRs that includes an eight month certificate program

Emergency Medical Technologist Paramedic (EMT-P) – have the most advanced medical training, check and monitor vital signs, measure blood glucose levels and use other diagnostic procedures. They perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), provide oxygen, administer medications including intravenous (IV) treatments, perform bandaging and splinting, assist in childbirth and provide initial treatment to trauma patients.

Emergency Communications Officer – trained call takers who work in EMS Dispatch Centres and answer 911 calls, obtain information from caller and determine the appropriate resource to send to events.



Facilities – Alberta Health Services operates a large number of healthcare facilities across Alberta, each one specifically tailored to serve your healthcare needs, in your community. To learn more about your healthcare options, click here. To find a facility, use our Find Healthcare tool.

Family Doctors/Physicians – Family doctors are the best option for ongoing primary medical care . Family doctors can diagnose and treat most medical issues, provide regular health exams and checkups, help supervise chronic illness and mental health issues, and provide referrals to other medical consultants and specialists if needed. Need Help Finding a Family Doctor?

Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) – is the largest hospital in Alberta, and is one of Canada’s most recognized medical facilities. Foothills provides advanced healthcare services to more than two million people from Calgary, southern Alberta, south-eastern British Columbia and southern Saskatchewan. Each year, more than 16,000 surgeries are performed in the 23 operating rooms at the Foothills Medical Centre and include: Cardiac Services, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), General Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Neurology, Orthopedics, Plastics, Thoracic, Transplant, and Trauma. FMC also has an Emergency Department, and is accredited as a Level One Trauma Centre.

First Available Bed/First Available Living Option – When the needs of a hospital patient change, ‘where’ they need to receive your care may also change. To best meeting patient’s needs, they may be moved to a new location or site, if they are unable to return home. Patients can choose which site they want to make their new home. If a bed is not available when they patient needs it, they will be moved to the first available bed where they will wait for a bed to become available in their centre of choice.

Foundations & Trusts – Alberta Health Services relies on its 64 Foundation & Health Trust partners to help drive innovation in health care. These organizations work diligently to gather community support, develop partnerships and raise critically-needed funds for care delivered to Albertans.



We currently to not have an words that begin with G in the Lexicon.



Health Link Alberta – is a toll-free telephone-based service that provides health advice and information to all Albertans, 24 hours a day, 7 day a week, free of charge. To reach Health Link, call 811. You will be connected with a Registered Nurse who can give you you advice about health concerns or symptoms you may have, and how best to treat these concerns or symptoms. The Nurses will also help you decide what health care option is the best option for you, for your needs. This service is available, free of charge, to all Albertans.

Health care options – Each community in Alberta offers a different range of health care services and programs. Knowing your health care options will help you get the care you need, when you need it. 

Hand Hygiene – washing your hands often with warm water and soap is a simple, but very important and effective way to protect yourself from illness, and prevent the spread of illness to others. 

Health Care Aide - Health Care Aides provide personal assistance and support services for elderly, disabled, acute or chronically ill people who require support. They work under the supervision of a nurse or health professional and provide basic health services for clients who have functional limitations.

Healthcare professionals/providers – are individuals that work in the health field and can include doctors, nurses (RNs, LPNs), dentists, psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and dieticians, etc.

Home Care – helping you to remain safe and independent in your own home is a priority for Alberta Health Services. Home Care services offered by AHS support your wellness and independence, so that you can remain safe in your own home, as you age. Home care can provide personal care supports such as assistance with bathing and dressing; it can also provide a wide range of health care supports, and referalls to other community-based services (meal preparation, yard and housework), as needed. 

Hospital Turnaround Time (also known as a Destination Interval) – the time it takes from when an ambulance crew arrives at a hospital with a patient until they are able to transition care to emergency department staff and return to the street to answer calls.



Inpatient – if you are admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility to stay overnight (for at least onenight or longer), so as to receive the care and treatment you need, you are called an “inpatient”. 

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) – A unit in the hospital where highly trained staff and physicians provide 24-hour monitoring and care for people over the age of 17 with life-threatening conditions. 

Inter-hospital transfer / Inter-facility transfer is when Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transfers a patient to another hospital or facility for tests, treatment, rehabilitation or recovery. Patients are moved by land or by air.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) – when you are receiving treatment in our care facilities, it is important that we protect you from illnesses and infections. Infection Prevention & Control practices and professionals ensure that infections and illnesses do not spread from one patient to another. To Alberta Health Services' Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) team is dedicated to preventing infections within health-care facilities, ensuring that the IPC practices necessary to prevent infections from occuring in patients receiving care in our facilities health-care facilities, are in place. 



Jack Ady Cancer Centre (JACC) – Jack Ady Cancer Centre in Lethbridge.



We currently do not have any words that begin with K in the Lexicon.



Licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a graduate of a school of practical nursing who is legally registered to provide basic bedside care under supervision of a physician or registered nurse. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a graduate from a two year diploma in practical nursing offered at the college level. They study the same body of nursing as an RN and often excel as frontline nurses involved in the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of nursing care.

Lois Hole Hospital for Women – Lois Hole Hospital for Women is a dedicated, five-floor “hospital within a hospital”, located at the site of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. While focusing on clinical care, including high-risk obstetrics, specialized gynecological services, and surgery, the new women's hospital, also advances women's health in Alberta through innovation, research, education and prevention.   

Long Term Care (LTC) – Healthcare services and supports provided in a hospital-like setting to people who have complex health issues. A person may need long-term care for end of life care needs, medication management, nursing care, or inconsistent or unstable behaviour l. Under the direction of a family physician, an onsite Registered Nurse supervises your care needs, 24/7, with the support of Licensed Practical Nurses , Health Care Aides and other health-care providers as appropriate. 

Lights and Sirens – how EMS responds to life-threatening emergencies with flashing lights and a audible siren to alert traffic. Also known as a “hot response”. When no lights and sirens are used it is referred to as a “cold response”.

Living Options Assessment – health care professionals will assess your health care needs, to determine the best care option for you. 



Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) - AHS wants to ensure patients can access compassionate high quality care, while ensuring staff and physicians can provide services within the law.

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute (MAHI, or the Maz) – The Maz, on the University of Alberta Hospital campus, is a world leader in complex cardiac care and surgery. With a collaborative approach, our team of highly skilled cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac care professionals, researchers and educators are advancing the prevention, detection, treatment and study of cardiovascular disease. 

Medicine Hat Regional Hospital – The Medicine Hat Regional Hospital is an acute care facility, which also includes supportive rehab/transition beds. Core programs at the regional facility include surgical services, mental health, critical care, pediatrics, 24-hour emergency, ambulatory care, obstetrics, neonatal intensive care (Level 2), geriatric services, community health, home care, X-Ray and lab. 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a very powerful magnet and radio waves energy to make three dimensional pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan . 

Medical First Responder (MFR) – is a member of a partner organization such as a fire department that can provide medical assistance during an emergency. Depending on the level or training this can range for advanced first aid to advanced life support.

Mental Health is not a single disease but a broad classification for many mental health problems. Mental health affects many aspects of our lives. It influences how we think and feel about ourselves and others. It also affects our ability to cope with change and adapt to major life events. Alberta Health Services is here to support all Albertans, providing a wide range of mental health programs and services. 

Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) is a computer that helps EMS Dispatch and ambulances communicate. The computer is able to direct the crew to the emergency location and dispatch can share information with ambulance crews about the event they are responding to.

Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre (YCC) – Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre in Medicine Hat. 

MyHealth.Alberta.cathis website is your trustworthy source of information on health conditions and treatments in Alberta. 



Nurse Practitioner (NP) - An advanced practice registered nurse who has completed a graduate-level education (either a Master of Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree). An NP can treat both physical and mental conditions. NPs can diagnose a wide range diseases (within their scope of practice) and provide appropriate treatment for patients, including prescribing some medications. NPs can serve as a patient's primary health care provider. NP can work independently of physicians.

Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) - The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray offers acute care and continuing care. Services provided include 24-hour emergency, laboratory, X-Ray, mental health, general surgery, ambulatory care, rehabilitation, home care, speech language, and community health.



Outpatient – when a person is not admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay, but still comes to a physician’s office, clinic, hospital, day surgery office or other healthcare facility for diagnosis, treatment or to receive care, that patient is considered an “outpatient”. 

Over Capacity Protocol (OCP) – when a hospital is experiencing an unexpected and sudden increase in the number of patients requiring care at that facility, certain processes or procedures are put in place to ensure the care patients need is still available, when and where they need it. These processes or procedures are called Over Capacity Protocols, and may include moving a patient to a different bed in the hospital to make room for another more seriously ill or injured patient. While in this new bed, the patient will still receive the care that best meets his or her needs.

Operational Clinical Networks (OCNs) are provincewide teams made up of patients, families, health professionals, researchers, government and community groups who work together to improve three different health care services – emergency, critical care and surgery. Also known as Networks.



Palliative Care – Care and supports for patients and families who are dealing with a progressive, life-limiting illness. 

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) – a unit in a hospital (acute care facility ) that is staffed with highly trained staff and physicians who provide 24-hour monitoring and treatment for infants, children and youth up to age 17 who are experiencing life-threatening conditions. 

Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) – The Peter Lougheed Centre is an adult tertiary care centre serving the Calgary Health Region. Each year more than 16,000 surgeries are performed in the 14 operating rooms and include: Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), General Surgery, Gynecology/Obstetrics, Oral Maxilla Facial, Orthopedics, Plastics, Podiatry and Vascular. The PLC also has a 24-hour Emergency Department.

Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS) – is a multidisciplinary team of experts specially trained in poisons, toxins, drugs and medications. PADIS is always ready to respond to emergencies and answer questions. Albertans and health professionals alike can call PADIS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for advice on poisons, chemicals or toxins, medications, drugs or herbals. PADIS expert will then recommend first aid treatment or connect you with immediate medical attention, if needed. 

Paramedic Response Unit (PRU) – a Sports Utility Vehicle staffed with a paramedic who can respond to emergency calls. This vehicle is fully stocked with medical equipment to allow the paramedic to provide the same level of response as a ground ambulance; however the vehicle cannot transport a patient.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) – Primary Care Networks are a made-in-Alberta approach to improving access and better coordinating primary health care for Albertans. PCNs are groups of family doctors that work with Alberta Health Services and other health professionals to coordinate the delivery of primary health services for their patients. Services offered by some PCN’s might include complex chronic disease support and clinics for patients who are not attached to a family doctor. Some PCN’s also provide after hours options.

Primary Care – Primary care is what many people may consider basic health care. Primary care includes health care or wellness advice and programs, treatment of a health issue or injury, or the diagnosis or management of a health condition. Primary health care may include services like: health promotion, disease prevention, screening tests and examinations, rehabilitation therapy, nutritional and psychological counseling. That means a variety of professionals, including nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, counsellors, rehabilitation therapists and social workers — in addition to physicians — provide primary care. 



Queen Elizabeth II Hospital (the QEII) - The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie is an acute care facility with 24-hour emergency services, an intensive care and neonatal intensive care unit. Services are provided in obstetrics, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, palliative care, pediatrics, psychiatry, and urology.



Registered Nurse (RN) is a healthcare professional who has graduated from a nursing program at a college or university, has a degree in nursing and has successfully passed the RN certification exam. An RN works independently or with other healthcare professionals. RNs manage health care, deliver direct services and support clients in their decisions and actions concerning their health in all stages of life. RNs work in various health settings including hospitals, schools, clinics, industry, government, etc,

Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) – The Royal Alexandra Hospital is located in the inner city of Edmonton and provides general and specialized medical and surgical health services. As one of Alberta's largest surgical facilities, the hospital plays a lead role in the expansion and development of minimally invasive surgery, a rapidly evolving technique that helps patients heal and return to productive lives faster. 

Real-time Emergency Patient Access & Coordination (REPAC) is a computerized system that helps to determine to which hospital an EMS crew should transports a patient. REPAC monitors the current status of patient volumes, incoming EMS volumes and severity of patient conditions in local emergency departments and urgent care centres, ensuring that patients are taken to the facility that can provide the care they need, in the time that they need it.

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (RDRHC) – The Red Deer Regional Hospital is located in the health care hub of central Alberta. The hospital houses a dialysis clinic, cancer clinic and a pediatric and special care nursery as well as 24-hour emergency.

Referral – the formal process through which your health care provider will get you an appointment with another health care provider who provides specialist treatment or assessment of your health care condition.



Seniors Care Options – Albertan seniors have many options to receive the care they need, where it is best for them to receive it. 

South Health Campus (SHC) – offers a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services, with a focus on wellness, making illness prevention, management and community health education an important focus. It also includes the Family Medicine Teaching Centre, which combines family health care with training for doctors participating in their hospital residency program. 

Stollery Children’s Hospital (SCH) – Highly-skilled child health professionals from around the world have made the Stollery Children's Hospital, located within the University of Alberta Hospital, a well-recognized centre for specialized pediatric services. The Stollery is Western Canada's referral centre for pediatric cardiac surgery and national leader in organ transplantation. The Stollery cares for children from northern and central Alberta, as well as parts of Manitoba and B.C. 

Supportive Living – there may come a time when living at home is no longer a safe option for you. Your Home Care team, or healthcare provider, may recommend a supportive living community as the right option to ensure you get the care you need, while maintaining the independence you want. There are many types of supportive living communities, all of which are home-like environments that provide on-site staff 24 hours a day. 

Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) are provincewide teams made up of patients, families, health professionals, researchers, government and community groups who work together to improve different areas of health care. See SCN website.



Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC) – The Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary is the comprehensive cancer centre for southern Alberta and a lead centre for the province-wide prevention, research and treatment program. The Tom Baker Cancer Centre provides advanced medical and supportive cancer care, patient and professional education, and conducts research through the Alberta Cancer Research Institute.

Transition Unit/Bed – is an unit or bed in a care facility that is dedicated to providing care for Albertans who are waiting to be moved to a different care facility in the community. This may include moving to different long-term or supportive living, mental health, addictions or other type of care programs.

Triage – when a patient arrives at the Emergency Department, the triage team will assess the patient’s condition, and, using the CTAS ,will determine the urgency and type of care a patient needs. A patient will be seen and treated based on the assessed severity of his or her condition. See also: Emergency Department; CTAS.



Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure using sound waves to assess body structures. It is most commonly used for obstetrical, pelvic and abdominal evaluations.

University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) – The University of Alberta Hospital is one of Canada's leading clinical, research and teaching hospitals, treating more than 700,000 patients annually from across western and northern Canada. The hospital offers a wide range of diagnostic and treatment services, including specialized services within cardiac sciences, neurosciences, surgery, medicine, renal, critical care, emergency and trauma care, and a state-of-the-art burn unit. The site's Organ and Tissue Transplant Program is also recognized as a national leader in both success rates and transplant volumes. 

Urgent Care – Urgent Care Services are for people who have unexpected but non-life-threatening health concerns that require same-day treatment or evening treatment. Patients coming to urgent care centres may arrive on their own, or be transported there by ambulance. For serious and life-threatening health concerns always go to your nearest emergency department , or call 911 . Hours of operation of Urgent Care Centres vary depending on the location.



We currently to not have an words that begin with V in the Lexicon.



Walk-In Clinics – If you don’t have a family doctor, some communities have walk-in clinics that often don’t require an appointment. Walk-in clinics are staffed by family physicians. Many have extended hours into evenings and weekends, providing another option for after-hours care. Health Link Alberta can provide advice on after hours care, including local Walk-in Clinics, if you are not sure where to go.



X- Ray – a painless diagnostic test that uses the rays of radiation, focused into a beam, to capture an image or picture of an element of the body.



We currently to not have an words that begin with Y in the Lexicon.



Zone – to ensure that communities are more directly connected to their local health systems and that decisions are being made by locals, for locals, regardless of where you live in the province, Alberta Health Services is organized into five geographic zones: North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary and South.



911 – the telephone number you call for medical , fire or police emergencies. If you need urgent emergency medical care, the experienced person who answers your call will ensure that the most appropriate Emergency Medical Services resources will be sent to assist with your emergency, and get you the care you need. See also: Ambulance; Emergency Medical Services.

811 – (Health Link Alberta ) - if you need health advice or information, call this toll-free phone number, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reach experienced Registered Nurses who can give you advice about health concerns or symptoms you may have, and how best to treat these concerns or symptoms. They will also help you decide what health care option is the best option for you, for your needs. This service is available, free of charge, to all Albertans.

1-800-332-1414 – (Poison & Drug Information Service ) – for advice on poisonings, as well as medication and herbal interactions with prescription or over the counter drugs, call this toll-free information line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reach experienced pharmacists, registered nurses and/or other health-care professionals . This service is available, free of charge, to all Albertans.

1-877-303-2642 – (Mental Health Help Line) – if you are concerned about your own mental health , or the mental health of a loved one, call this toll-free number, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The expert health professionals who answer your call can provide crisis intervention support, information on Mental Health programs and services, and referrals to other agencies. This service is confidential and available, free of charge, to all Albertans.

1-866-332-2322 – (Addictions & Substance Abuse Helpline) - if you have concerns about Addictions & Substance Abuse , you can call this toll-free number, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to reach expert health professionals who can help you find the addiction services office near you, and connect you with other supports and services. This service is available, free of charge, to all Albertans.

1-866-710-7848 (QUIT) – (Alberta Quits) – Albertans looking to reduce or quit their use of tobacco can call this toll-free number, between 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week, to speak with trained Cessation Counsellors. The counsellors will help you develop a quit plan, deal with cravings, and provide ongoing support to keep you motivated. Translation services are available in 180 languages through an interpreter. This service is confidential, and available, free of charge, to all Albertans.