In general terms, there are two types of patients. Here you will learn what an outpatient or a hospitalized patient is. An inpatient or hospitalized patient is a person who, due to the care they are going to receive, must stay at least one night in the hospital.
While outpatients are those people who need to go either on one occasion or regularly to a health center to have a diagnosis or treatment but it is not necessary to spend the night in the hospital.
An example of a person being considered an outpatient is when your GP asks you for an annual check-up; although there are other cases such as when you must visit the emergency room and, after your treatment, you return home the same day.
Doctor’s appointments at specialized clinics or centers also fall under the outpatient category.
What services does outpatient care include?
Among the different procedures and services that an outpatient can receive are:
- Minor surgeries. These include everything from ingrown toenail treatment to abscess care, skin cysts, burns, foreign body removal, and more.
- Laboratory. In general, any patient who undergoes blood tests, blood chemistry, biochemical, hematological, or microbiological tests falls into this category.
- Radiology and imaging. Having x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans for which a patient has an appointment and leaves the same day, is considered an outpatient.
- Appointments with a specialist.
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Rehabilitation patients often fall into this category if they return home the same day after treatment.
Outpatient care, also known as primary care, has the advantage of not requiring patients to change their environment and thus be able to continue with their daily activities before and aftercare.
On the other hand, being outpatient results in lower costs by not needing to stay in the hospital longer than necessary.
It must be remembered that, although being an outpatient has certain benefits, each case is individual and your treating physician will decide whether or not to stay hospitalized.
Regardless of whether you are an outpatient or hospitalized patient, in the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine area we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!