In an article about “Molecular Science and The Balanced Health Care System” David M. Lawrence MD, MPH describes the 5 focus areas for primary care. Shortest and clearest definition I have seen.
Primary Health Services include five core activities.
(1) Wellness support is intended to optimize health, quality of life, and productivity.
(2) Prevention care protects individuals and communities from illness and injury through vaccines, restrictions (e.g. non-smoking ordinances, motorcycle helmet laws, flammable child clothing regulations, school-snack food prohibitions, etc.), screening and early detection of disease.
(3) Triage services provide algorithm-based diagnosis and treatment for simple, non-life-threatening conditions and referral into the “sick care” system for more complex conditions.
(4) Navigation support helps individuals understand their choices for care and obtain the right care at the right time in the right place within the “sick care” system.
(5) Chronic Disease Management services help individuals limit the downstream consequences of their chronic illnesses, once they are diagnosed and medical treatment has been initiated.