Preventive health services involve an array of health care services. Specific services, such as mammograms, clinical breast examinations and pap smears are common services that are quite often the focus of research. These services, if provided on the recommended schedules, have been known to decrease the mortality and morbidity rates of the sicknesses and diseases they detect or prevent.
In the process of studying preventive health services, a number of researchers have attempted to identify the factors which prevent women aged 40 to 64 from receiving these services (Bindman, Grumbach, Osmond, Vranizan & Stewart, 1996; Calle, Flanders, Thun & Martin, 1993; Calnan, 1985; Hayward, Shapiro, Freeman & Corey, 1988).
In some instances, a factor has been isolated and individually examined as to its effect on obtaining preventive health services, while in others, factors have not necessarily been studied and reported as independent variables. Further, some factors have not been analyzed against obtaining preventive services specifically, or in terms of women or female Veterans only, but the results enable strong implications to be drawn as to the more narrow factor at issue.
Characteristics of Health Delivery System
The term "delivery system" is used to refer more specifically to those arrangements for the potential rendering of care to consumers (Aday & Andersen, 1975). The delivery system is characterized by one main element -- "organization."
Organization and Obtaining Preventive Services
Aday and Andersen (1975) present the definition as:
"Organization" describes "what the system does with its resources. It refers to the manner in which medical personnel and facilities are coordinated and controlled in the process of providing medical services." The components of organization are entry and referral. Entry refers to the process of gaining entrance to the system (travel time, waiting time, etc.) (p. 8).