The Provider

Who Is the Provider?


The hospital traditionally has been a facility or institution in which healthcare services are provided by physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The hospital provider role has an extensive history that dates centuries back.

Throughout world history, religion and medicine have been linked. In the ancient Greek culture, temples were built for the Greek god of healing, Asclepius. Romans adopted the practice of worshipping Sculapius, as they named him, building a temple to him on the island of Tiber in Rome (291 B.C.) (Roderick E. McGrew, Encyclopedia of Medical History [New York: Macmillan, 1985], pp. 134–135).

Hospitals in medieval Europe were also based in religious communities. Care was typically provided by monks and nuns, and some hospitals were attached to monasteries. During this time the focus was on managing illnesses or creating hospice-like environments. Many hospitals had a specific purpose, such as caring for lepers or providing a refuge for the poor. Within the medieval Islamic world, Muslim hospitals started to focus on standard of care sometime between the eighth and twelfth centuries. Hospitals built in Baghdad in the tenth century actually employed physicians with separate wards for different conditions.

Hospitals in the modern era started sometime in the eighteenth century when institutions began to serve medical needs and create staffs containing physicians and surgeons. In Berlin, for example, ...

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