A health care provider is an individual or an institution that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities.
An individual health care provider (also known as a health worker) may be a health care professional within medicine, nursing, or allied health professions. Health care providers may also be a public/community health professional. Institutions (also known as health facilities) include hospitals, clinics, primary care centres, and other service delivery points. The practice of health professionals and operation of health care institutions is typically regulated by national or state/provincial authorities through appropriate regulatory bodies for purposes of quality assurance. Together, they form part of an overall health care system.
In medicine, when referring to human feces, blood in stool can refer to multiple conditions:
The term is usually not used to describe fecal occult blood, which refers to blood only found after testing is performed.
A stool test involves the collection and analysis of fecal matter to diagnose the presence or absence of a medical condition.
One of the most common stool tests, the fecal occult blood test can be used to diagnose many conditions that cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal system including colorectal cancer or stomach cancer.
A blood test , also known as bloodwork, is a laboratory analysis performed on a blood sample that is usually extracted from a vein in the arm using a needle, or via fingerprick. Blood tests (also referred to as blood work) are used to determine physiological and biochemical states, such as disease, mineral content, drug effectiveness, and organ function. They are also used in drug tests.
Venipuncture is useful as it is a minimally invasive way to obtain cells and extracellular fluid (plasma) from the body for analysis. Since blood flows throughout the body, acting as a medium for providing oxygen and nutrients, and drawing waste products back to the excretory systems for disposal, the state of the bloodstream affects, or is affected by, many medical conditions. For these reasons, blood tests are the most commonly performed medical tests.
Fecal occult blood (FOB) refers to blood in the feces that is not visibly apparent. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) checks for hidden (occult) blood in the stool (feces). Newer tests look for globin, DNA, or other blood factors including transferrin, while conventional stool guaiac tests look for heme.