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(prĭz-măt′ĭk) 1. Shaped like a prism. 2. Produced by a prism.


(prī′vă-sē) In the medical context, the rights of a patient to control the distribution and release of data concerning his or her illness. This includes information the patient has provided to health care professionals and all additional information contained in the chart, medical records, and laboratory data. Failure to observe this aspect of a patient’s rights is classed as an invasion of privacy.

privacy officer

(prī′vĭ-sē ŏf′ĭ-sĭr) The health care administrator responsible for safeguarding patient confidentiality at a clinic or hospital. Under regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the privacy officer oversees institutional privacy policies, procedures, and rules.

private patient

A patient whose care is the responsibility of one identifiable health care professional, usually a physician or dentist. The health care professional is paid directly, either by the patient or by the patient’s insurer.


(priv′ĭ-lĕj) [L. privilegium, law affecting a single person, prerogative] 1. A right granted to a person in recognition of some special status, e.g., a right to practice one’s profession in a health care facility. 2. An immunity from commonly imposed standards or laws.

admitting p. A privilege granted to members of a hospital staff by which an advanced nursing practitioner or a physician can confine a patient to a particular hospital for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.


[L. pro re nata]; according to circumstances; as necessary. Frequently used in prescription and order writing.


[L., Gr. pro, before] Prefix indicating for, in front of, before, from, in behalf of, on account of, or, in chemistry, precursor (of). SEE: also ante-; pre-.


(prō-an″thō-sī-an′ĭ-dĭn) A chemical in cranberry juice that is believed to inhibit the adhesion of Escherichia coli to the mucosa of the urinary tract.


(prō-ă-rĭth′mē-ă) An arrhythmia that is stimulated, provoked, or worsened by drug therapy. proarrhythmic, adj.


(prob″ă-bil′ĭt-ē) [L. probabilitas, likelihood] 1. Likelihood. 2. The ratio that expresses the possibility of the occurrence of a specific event. The probability of a tossed coin landing heads or tails is one half or 50% each. This 50% probability remains the same every time a coin is tossed. Probability ratios based on sophisticated techniques are used for estimating the chance of occurrence of diseases in a population and in projecting vital statistics such as birth and death rates.

pretest p. An estimate of a patient’s likelihood of illness. It is based on or derived from the prevalence of ...

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