Divisions of the Healthcare System

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  • 0:00 Healthcare System…
  • 1:12 The Long-Term Care Industry
  • 2:11 The Mental Healthcare Industry
  • 3:05 Integrative Medicine Industry
  • 3:50 Safety Net Services Industry
  • 4:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schickel

Tara has taught staff nursing courses and has a master's degree in public health.

There are many divisions within the healthcare system in the United States. This lesson will discuss some overlooked but extremely important sectors of the healthcare industry.

Healthcare System Divisions

When we think of healthcare in the United States, we typically think of hospitals and physician offices. However, there are a lot more components that go into a comprehensive health system than those two parts. Today, we're going to discuss some facets of the healthcare system that we don't typically focus on. Facets such as the pharmaceutical industry, long-term care facilities, mental healthcare, integrative medicine, and safety net services are all extremely important parts of healthcare that warrant a closer examination.

The Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceuticals refer to anything relating to drugs or medication. This may seem like a broad category, but that's because it's actually a very broad industry. Not only does the pharmaceutical industry include pharmacy stores that dispense prescription medication to people, it also includes a whole area of research that contributes to medicine. The pharmaceutical industry conducts countless research studies to try to find medications that treat diseases or prevent them from occurring. Many people think of medical research when it comes to discovering new ways of healing. What's not typically noted is the amount of pharmaceutical research that goes into discovering cures, treatments, and preventative drugs.

The Long-Term Care Industry

Another industry that gets very little attention in healthcare is the long-term industry. Long-term care includes a wide array of services that support personal care needs, such as the activities of daily living. As a result of diseases or age-related issues, sometimes people need assistance in retaining their independence. They can't always continue to attend to their own personal care needs, or they might need just a slight amount of help. Long-term care facilities function as an additional support structure that gives patients the extra help they need. Long-term care facilities differ from hospitals in that many times, the long-term care facility becomes home to those who need their services. This is a special, unique type of care area because not only do staff need to provide nursing care, but they also must balance this with providing a social support network. To many residents of long-term care facilities, they become their new circle of family and friends. A unique perspective of care is involved when dealing with the long-term care sector of healthcare.

The Mental Healthcare Industry

Mental well-being is a huge part of being a healthy individual. When we think of receiving healthcare, we typically think of our primary physicians who take care of our physical ailments. Mental healthcare is a grossly under-recognized segment of the healthcare industry. Statistics are astonishing in that one in every five American adults have a mental health condition, and an overwhelming percentage of the people who are dealing with mental health conditions don't get treatment for them.

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