Glossary of health terms & acronyms

A glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations used by Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB)​.

Suggesting new words for the CDHB glossary

Please use our contact form if you would like to suggest a new word or amendment to the glossary.

Usage of abbreviations

CDHB staff who wish to use abbreviations in formal documentation should consult CDHB policies and procedures for instructions about correct usage.

Glossary of health terms & acronyms

    PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems)

    ​A picture archiving and communications system is a versatile system that enables the transfer of digital images and patient information throughout the organisation. In broad terms, PACS is a technology, system and process for handling medical images (X-rays, CT, ultrasound etc) without the need for film. Images are stored on computer as digital information and displayed on computer screens for viewing.


    ​Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

    Paed Onc

    ​Paediatric Oncology



    PBF (Population Based Funding)

    Involves using a formula to allocate each DHB a fair share of the available resources so that each Board has an equal opportunity to meet the health and disability needs of its population.​


    Primary Care Organisation​


    Pharmaceutical Cancer Treatment ​


    ​Position Description


    ​Personal Grievance

    PHARMAC (Pharmaceutical Management Agency)

    ​Agency which secures, for eligible people in need of pharmaceuticals, the best health outcomes that are reasonably achievable from pharmaceutical treatment and from within the amount of funding provided.

    PHO (Primary Health Organisation)

    ​PHOs encompass the range of primary care and practitioners and are funded by DHBs to provide of a set of essential primary health care services to those people who are enrolled in that PHO.


    Primary Health Organisation Performance Programme​

    PMS (Patient Management Systems)

    ​PMS (secondary-care), or Practice Management System (primary-care) used to keep track of patients. In secondary care the focus is usually on tracking the admissions, discharges or transfers of patients, in primary care, the focus is on maintenance of the register.

    PP (Pacific Peoples)

    ​The population of Pacific Island ethnic origin (for example, Tongan, Niuean, Fijian, Samoan, Cook Island Maori, and Tokelauan) incorporating people of Pacific Island ethnic origin born in NZ as well as overseas.


    Pacific Provider Development Scheme​

    Primary birthing facility

    This is a facility that provides inpatient services for labour and birth and the immediate postnatal period. ​

    Primary Care

    Primary Care means essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound, culturally appropriate and socially acceptable methods.  It is universally accessible to people in their communities, involves community participation, is integral to, and a central function of, the country’s health system, and is the first level of contact with the health system.​


    Primary Response in Medical Emergency​


    Programme for the Integration of Mental Health Data​


    Public Service Association​

    PSAID (Psychiatric Services for Adults with Intellectual Disability)

    The PSAID outpatient team provides comprehensive psychiatric assessment and treatment ​including outpatient consultations and case management. 


    Psychiatric Services for the Elderly​ has now changed its name to Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH)

    Public Health

    ​The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health and efficiency through organised community effort.  A collective effort to identify and address the unacceptable realities that result in preventable and avoidable health outcomes, and it is the composite of efforts and activities that are carried out by people committed to these ends.

Page last reviewed: 15 January 2016
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