Where can you find a "client" who is not a customer or even human? In computerland, the client is actually a computer with a certain purpose. And everyone is supposed to know that.
People are also supposed to know what "sticky" World Wide Web sites are. They're a good thing, by the way. The term means that people who visit the site find reasons to stay awhile and return often.
As Internet-technology merchants rush into healthcare, the arcane vocabulary they've made up along the way is being swept along. While the terminology may sound perfectly logical to its practitioners, it's enough to confuse the heck out of their target audience in healthcare's executive suites and board rooms.
Things get even more abstruse when computer folks take a bit of jargon like "client" and pile new jargon onto it. Once the term client became recognizable as a computer that worked in concert with a central processing computer called a server, it wasn't much of a stretch to tag special Web-accessed computers as "thin clients." They don't need to be loaded up with as much memory and power, you see, because the server handles it all. Get it?
Of course, once the tag stuck, the regular high-powered computers stocked with software became "fat clients" or "thick clients." A tortuous path to travel, for sure.
Vendors and sales representatives who use such jargon with nontechie decisionmakers may find their pitches aren't very sticky to prospective clients.