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Medical technology—Techniques, drugs, equipment, and procedures used by health care professionals in delivering medical care to individuals and the systems within which such care is delivered.5

Micro-system—Organizational unit built around the definition of repeatable core service competencies. Elements of a micro-system include (1) a core team of health care professionals, (2) a defined population of patients, (3) carefully designed work processes, and (4) an environment capable of linking information on all aspects of work and patient or population outcomes to support ongoing evaluation of performance.

Patient safety—Freedom from accidental injury; ensuring patient safety involves the establishment of operational systems and processes that minimize the likelihood of errors and maximizes the likelihood of intercepting them when they occur.

Quality of care—Degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.6

Standard—A minimum level of acceptable performance or results or excellent levels of performance or the range of acceptable performance or results.7 The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines six types of standards:

1. Standard test methods—a procedure for identifying, measuring, and evaluating a material, product or system.

2. Standard specification—a statement of a set of requirements to be satisfied and the procedures for determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied.

3. Standard practice—a procedure for performing one or more specific operations or functions.

4. Standard terminology—a document comprising terms, definitions, descriptions, explanations, abbreviations, or acronyms.

5. Standard guide—a series of options or instructions that do not recommend a specific course of action.

6. Standard classification—a systematic arrangement or division of products, systems, or services into groups based on similar characteristics.8

System—Set of interdependent elements interacting to achieve a common aim. These elements may be both human and nonhuman (equipment, technologies, etc.).

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