Alphabet Soup

Note to reader:  The following is a list of acronyms commonly used in public health literature, and in this on-line textbook.



AA: Anesthesiologist’s Assistant

AAHA: American Association of Homes for the Aging

AAHSA: American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging

AAMD: American Academy of Medical Directors

AAN: American Academy of Nursing

AAP: American Academy of Pediatrics

AAP: Association of American Physicians

ABMM: American Board of Medical Management

ABS: American Board of Surgery

ACCME: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

ACF: Administration for Children and Families

ACHA: American College of Hospital Administrators

ACNG: Association for Children’s Nutritional Growth

ACYF: Administration on Children, Youth and Families

ADA: American Dietetic Association

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

ADAMHA: Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder

ADFS: Alternative Delivery and Financing System

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADI: acceptable daily intake

ADS: Alternative Delivery System

A-EMT: Advanced emergency medical technician

AFS: Alternative Financing System

AHA Guide: Guide to the Health Care Field

AHA: American Hospital Association

AHCPR: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

AHP: Allied Health Professional

AID: Artificial Insemination by Donor

AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

AL: Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence Services

ALOS: Average Length of Stay

ALR: American Law Reports

ALR: American Law Reports

ALS: Advanced Life Support

AMA: American Medical Association

AMH: Accreditation Manual for Hospitals

AmJur: American Jurisprudence

AMRA: American Medical Record Association

APHA: American Public Health Association

APO: Adverse Patient Occurrence

ART: Accredited Record Technician


BCBSA: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

BHCAG: Buyers Health Care Action Group

BMI: Body Mass Index

BNDD: Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

BPR: Business Process Reengineering


CACFP: Child and Adult Care Food Program

CAHEA: Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation

CAT Scan: Computed Tomography Imaging (see also CT Scan)

CCC: Council on Clinical Classifications

CCRC: Continuing Care Retirement Communities

CCU: Cardiac Care Unit

CDC: Centers for Disease Control

CEO: Chief Executive Officer

CEPA: Children’s Environmental Protection Act

CER: Capital Expenditure Review

CHAP: Community Health Accreditation Program

CHC: Community Health Center

CHI: Consumer Health Informatics

CHINS: Community Health Information Networks

CHIP: Children’s Health Insurance Program

CHN: Community Health Network

CHP: Comprehensive Health Planning

CII: Child Immunization Initiative

CISN: Community Integrated Service Networks

CISNET: Committee on International Science, Engineering and Technology

CJS: Corpus Juris Secundum

CMHC: Community Mental Health Service Program

CMP: Competitive Medical Plan

CMSA: Coal Mine Safety Act

CNPP: Center for Policy Promotion

COBRA: Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985

CONAPP: Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics

COO: Chief Operating Officer

CPG: Clinical Practice Guidelines

CPHA: Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities

CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

CQI: Continuous Quality Improvement

CQM: Continuous Quality Management

CQMS: Cost Quality Management System

CRNA: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

CS: Central Service Department

CT Scan: Computed Tomography Imaging

CVS: Chorionic Villus Sampling

CVT: Cardiovascular Technologist


DATTA: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technology Assessment Program

DC: Doctor of Chiropractic

DCG: Diagnostic Cost Groups

DEA: Drug Enforcement Administration

DHEW: Department of Health, Education and Welfare

DHHS: Department of Health and Human Services

DMA: Director of Medical Affairs

DME: Durable Medical Equipment

DMO: Disease Management Organization

DO: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

DOC: Department of Commerce

DOL: Department of Labor

DOTS: Directly Observed Treatment Short-course

DPT: Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus

DR: Diagnostic Radiology Services

DRG: Diagnosis Related Group

DSS: Decision Support System

DT: Dietetic Technician


EAP: Employee Assistance Program

ECG: Electrocardiogram

ED: Emergency Department

EEG: Electroencephalogram

EFNEP: Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

EKG: Electrocardiogram

EMC: Emerging and other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control

EMCRO: Experimental Medical Care Review Organization

EMS or EMSS: Emergency Medical Service System

EMT: Emergency Medical Technician

EP: Emergency Physician

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

EPO: Exclusive Provider Organization

EPSDT: Early and Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment Program

ERID: Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases

ESRD: End-Stage Renal Disease

ETS: Environmental Tobacco Smoke


FA: Functional Administration

FACHA: Fellow of the American College of Hospital Administrators

FACHE: Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives

FACPE: Fellow of the American College of Physician Executives

FCC:  Federal Communications Commission

FCH: Family Care Home

FDA: Federal Drug Administration

FDA: Food and Drug Administration

FE: Frozen Embryo

FEC: Free-standing emergency center

FFS: Fee-for-Service

FMC: Foundation for Medical Care

FNS: Food and Nutrition Services

FP: Family Practice

FSA: Flexible Spending Account

FTC: Federal Trade Commission

FTE: Full-time Equivalent

FTT: Failure to Thrive


GAO: General Accounting Office

GB: Governing Body

GDP: Gross Domestic Product

GDP: Gross National Product

GI: Gastroenterology

GME: Graduate Medical Education

GMENAC: Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee

GP: General Practitioner


HAD: Health Care Alternatives Development

HBV: Hepatitus B Virus

HCFA: Health Care Financing Administration

HCO: Health Care Organization

HCQIA: Health Care Quality Improvement Act

HEDIS: Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set

HEW: Department of Health, Education and Welfare

HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

HIAA: Health Insurance Association of America

HIS: Hospital Information System

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HMO: Health Management Organization

HMRC: Health Management Research Center

HON:  Health on the Net Foundation

HPA: Health Policy Agenda for the America People

HPHC: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

HRA: Health Record Analyst

HRAs:  Health Risk Appraisals

HRO:  High Reliability Organization

HT: Histologic Technician/Technologist


IA: Intra-arterial

IADL: Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale

IC: Infection Control

ICCS: International Classification of Clinical Services

ICD: International Classification of Diseases

ICF: Intermediate Care Facility

ICP: Interdisciplinary Care Plan

ICU: Intensive Care Unit

IG: Inspector General

IHCA: Individual Health Care Account

IHR: International Health Regulations

IM: Implementation Monitoring

IM: Internal Medicine

IMC: Indigent Medical Care

IMD: Institution for Mental Diseases

IMF: International Monetary Fund

INSERM: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (French Institute of Health and Medical Research)

INSPEAR: International Network for the Study and Prevention of Emerging Antimicrobial

IQ: Intellectual Quadrant

IRB: Institutional Review Board

IS: Information System

ISN: Integrated Service Networks

ITREID: International Training and Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases

IVF: In Vitro Fertilization


JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association

JCAH: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals

JCAHO: Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations


KCF: Key Clinical Findings


LAN: Local Area Network

LAV: Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus

LDRS: Labor-Delivery-Recovery Suites

LHEG: Local Healthcare Executive Group

LO: a Learning Organization

LOS: Length of Stay

LP: Legal Periodicals

LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse

LTC: Long-term Care

LTCF: Long-term Care Facility

LVN: Licensed Vocational Nurse


M&E: Monitoring and Evaluation

MA: Medical Assistant

MA: Medical Audit

MAP: Medical Audit Program

MAS: Management and Administrative Services

MCAT: Medical College Admission Test

MCES: Medical Care evaluation Study

MD: Doctor of Medicine

MDC: Major Diagnostic Category

Medi-Cal: Medicaid in California

MGMA: Medical Group Management Association

MI: Medical Illustrator

MIG: Medicare Insured Group

MIS: Management Information System

MMA: Medical Management Analysis

MMR: Measles, Mumps, Rubella

MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (US CDC)

MRA: Medical Record Administrator

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MS: Medical Staff

MSDs:  Musculoskeletal Disorders

MSO: Medical Staff Organization


NACHRI: National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, Inc.

NAL: National Agricultural Library

NAQAP: National Association of Quality Assurance Professionals

NBME: National Board of Medical Examiners

NCHC: National Coalition on Health Care

NCI: National Cancer Institute

ND: Naturopathic Medicine

NET: Nutrition Education and Training

NF: National Formulary

NGT: Nominal Group Technique

NHANES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

NIAID: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIDDK: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases

NIH: National Institute of Health

NII: National Information Infrastructure

NIOSH: the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NLM: National Library of Medicine

NLMA: National Labor Management Association

NM: Nuclear Medicine Services

NMR Scanning: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Scanning

NMRI: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging

NOEL: No Observable Effect Level

NP: Nurse Practitioner

NRCRDA: National Research Council Recommended Dietary Allowances

NTD: Neural Tube Defect


OBRA: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

ODMH: Ohio Department of Mental Health

ODRC: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

ODYS: Ohio Department of Youth Services

OMB: Office of Management and Budget

OMD: Doctor of Oriental Medicine

OMR: Online Medical Record

OP: Outpatient

OPA: Organ Procurement Agency

OPHS: Office of Public Health and Science

OR: Operating Room

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Act

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OT: Occupational Therapist

OTA: Office of Technology Assessment

OTC Drug: Over the Counter Drug


P&L: Profit and Loss Statement

P&T: Pharmacy and Therapeutics

PA: Physician Advisor

PA: Physician Assistant

PAC: Preadmission Certification

PAT: Preadmission Testing

PCA: Patient Care Audit

PCB: Polychlorinated Biphenyl

PCC: Primary Care Center

PCM: Patient Care Manager

PCU: Patient Care Unit

PDD: Presidential Decision Directive

PDR: Physicians’ Desk Reference

PDSA:  Plan, Do,Study, Act cycle

PH: Pharmaceutical Services

PHN: Public Health Nurse

PHO: Physician-Hospital Organization

PHO: Public Health Organization

PHS: Public Health Service

PHSA:  Public Health Service Act

PIP: Periodic Interim Payment

PLM: Product Line Management

PM: Post Mortem

PNP: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

POMR: Problem-Oriented Medical Record

POR: Problem-Oriented Record

POS: Point of Scale

POS: Point of Service Option (Health Care Plan)

POS: Point of Service Plan

PPO: Preferred Provider Organization

PPS: Prospective Payment System

PRO: Peer Review Organization

Project ASSIST:  American Stop Smoking Interventional Study for Cancer Prevention

PSA: Public Service Announcements

PSRO: Professional Standards Review Organization

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSM: Plant, Technology, and Safety Management


QAP: Quality Assurance Program

QC: Quality Control

QM: Quality Management

QRB: Quality Review Bulletin

QRM: Quality and Resource Management

QWL: Quality of Working Life Movement


RD: Registered Dietitians

RMI: Repetitive motion injuries

RN: Registered Nurse

RRA: Registered Review Committee

RRC: Residency Review Committee

RSI: Repetitive strain injury

RT: Respiratory Therapist

RVS: Relative Value Scale

RVU: Relative Value Unit



SES: Socio-economic Status

SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

SM: Surrogate Mother

SMI: Supplementary Medical Insurance

SNF: Skilled Nursing Facility

SNP: School Nurse Practitioner

SO: Social Work Services

SPC: Statistical Process Control

SPSS: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

SSA: Social Security Administration

STD: Sexually Transmitted Disease


TB Unit: Tuberculosis Unit

TEFRA: Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act

TPA: Third Party Administrator

TPR: Third Party Reimbursement

TQA: Total Quality Management

TQM: Total Quality Management


UCC: Uniform Commercial Code

UHDDS: Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set

UN: United Nations

UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund (formerly United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund)

UR: Utilization Review

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture


VAD: Ventricular Assist Device

VCJD: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

VHA: Veterans Health Administration


WHO: World Health Organization

WIC: Women, Infants, and Children


YMCA: Young Men’s Christian Association

YWCA: Young Women’s Christian Association


ZEBRA: Zero Balanced Reimbursement Account