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A health assessment is a plan of care that identifies the specific needs of the client and how those needs will be addressed by the healthcare system or skilled nursing facility. Health assessment is the evaluation of the health status by performing a physical exam after taking a health history. It is done to detect diseases early in people that may look and feel well.
Health assessment is the evaluation of the health status of an individual along the health continuum. The purpose of the assessment is to establish where on the health continuum the individual is because this guides how to approach and treat the individual. The health continuum approaches range from preventative, to treatment, to palliative care in relation to the individual's status on the health continuum. It is not the treatment or treatment plan. The plan related to findings is a care plan which is preceded by the specialty such as medical, physical therapy, nursing, etc.
Health assessment has been separated by authors from physical assessment to include the focus on health occurring on a continuum as a fundamental teaching. In the healthcare industry it is understood health occurs on a continuum, so the term used is assessment but may be preference by the speciality's focus such as nursing, physical therapy, etc. In healthcare, the assessment's focus is biopsychosocial but the intensity of focus may vary by the type of healthcare practitioner. For example, in the emergency room the focus is chief complaint and how to help that person related to the perceived problem. If the problem is a heart attack then the intensity of focus is on the biological/physical problem initially.
More recently, Wellness Screenings offered by organizations incorporate this terminology when they include multiple screening components but the health assessment is not extensive and assesses related to specific screening foci such as blood gluose, lipids, height, weight, body mass index, smoking history, bone density, electrocardiogram, A1C, etc. The information used to identify population trends for financial risks related to healthcare for self insured companies and health insurance companies. Some organizations use to help their members or employees by offer perks or incentives related to findings. For example, some companies provide diabetic and antihypersentive medication, equipment and supplies at no cost.
- Illness - Wellness Continuum image
- Zator Estes, M. (2006). Health assessment and physical examination. Independence, KY: Delmar Cengage Learning
- Personal experiences with employer and not authorized as a public relations spokes person.