A health care delivery system includes all the people, institutions, and services that assist in care coordination, patient flows, diagnosis, disease management, and promotion of health maintenance programs. It covers various service areas such as emergency, primary care, public health, rehabilitation, hospital care, mental health services, and specialized care. A health care delivery system can be classified as a single-provider service or a complex health system that meets the care requirements of a specific population.
Health care organizations – like clinics, hospice care, and ambulatory care centers - comprise health care delivery systems that include human resources, physical assets, patients, financial organization, organizational culture, and system structure. Health care delivery systems can be structured as small-scale local or large hospital systems with their care processes, organizational capacity, financial and insurance programs, and health priorities. They utilize resources to engender positive health outcomes for well-defined communities or markets. Care programs are facilitated by specialized medical workers that deliver services based on internal codes and state regulations.
Health care delivery systems are defined based on the mission statement, non-profit status, and public or private ownership. Earnings are produced for stakeholders, like for-profit systems, or for the organization, as in not-for-profit systems, and must meet the healthcare needs of existing populations. The delivery system, regardless of structure, manages finances in coordination with care processes, system complexities, and quality maintenance. This ensures the health care organization maintains quality health outcomes and patient safety.