Handbook of Modern Hospital Safety, 2nd edition. Charney W, ed., Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2009 Jul; :2.1-2.9
Health care is part of Health Care and Social Assistance (HCSA) sector, defined by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Sector 62. Industries in this sector are arranged on a continuum starting with those establishments providing medical care exclusively, continuing with those providing health care and social assistance, and finally those providing only social assistance. Many of the industries in the sector are defined based on the educational degree held by the practitioners included in the industry. This sector is comprised of four subsectors: ambulatory health care services (621) hospitals (622), nursing and residential care facilities (623), and social assistance (624) and their respective constituent four digit industries; the first three subsectors collectively represent Health Care and are the focus of this section. Health Care includes both employer (i.e., with paid employees) and nonemployer (i.e., without paid or self-employed) establishments, with the exception of hospitals that does not include the latter. Based on the most recent Economic Census figures (2002), there are over 564,000 employer establishments and over 739,000 self-employed establishments in Health Care, representing 8.2% and 4.2% of all establishments, respectively (Table 2.1). Ambulatory health care services represents over 91% of all establishments in Health Care. Establishments of the self-employed far outnumber employed establishments in home health care services, offices of other health care practitioners, and other ambulatory health services. Offices of physicians, dentists, or other health practitioners represent 75% of employer and 66% of self-employed establishments. Hospitals represent less than 2% of all establishments in Health Care; over 80% of hospitals provide general medical and surgical services.