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Glossary > Inpatient Care

Inpatient Care

What Is Inpatient Care?

Inpatient care is treatment administered "in-house," either in a hospital or healthcare facility such as a doctor's office. It is direct care under supervision of a doctor and 24 hour inpatient healthcare of a nurse. The idea dates back to 230 B.C. and Florence Nightingale being one of the first most noted hospital care givers. She is responsible for bringing awareness to the need for better inpatient healthcare practices in the mid 19th century. It will also include the treatment of inpatient psychiatric care. 

What Inpatient Care Consists Of

Inpatient care is mainly the care given to a patient during a hospital stay or can progress from a trauma to an extended inpatient treatment stay. In a hospital setting the trauma is stabilized in an emergency setting and then if suggested to watched or for further extended inpatient treatment care, the patient will then be admitted to the hospital until the hospital doctor is confident to release the patient for his or her own care. This may take a few day or hours or weeks depending on the inpatient healthcare that is needed. The inpatient healthcare while the patient is staying in the facility might be related to, surgery, recovery from surgery, medicine by intravenous injection, palliative care to include home care instructions.

Types Of Inpatient Care

Types of inpatient care are classified as any inpatient healthcare that requires the patient to be monitored by a health care professional. Not just a hospital setting such as a mobile unit during war, a brick and mortar hospital with modern medicine in practice but it can also pertain to mental health facilities, drug, alcohol and other rehabilitation centers that do require the patient to stay "in-house" for an extended time for inpatient psychiatric care under a trained health care professional's eye.

Inpatient care can also be in a rehabilitation center for recovery from a stroke, heart attack or any other injury that will require long-term physical therapy or learn how to walk with a prosthetic or how to walk after a stroke. Any kind of disability/trauma to the body is going to require some kind of stay in a facility using inpatient treatment plans.

What Are Inpatient Facilities?

A healthcare facility that offers inpatient treatment care is considered any facility that houses a patient under a physician's care for an extended period of time. Usually more than three days but every state has their laws and definitions in place for a health care facility or inpatient psychiatric care. Health care facilities are any institution that performs a medical procedure or prescribes medicine under the DEA rules and regulations. In addition, the facility may house a patient for drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, or inpatient psychiatric care for mental health issues. Again, any condition requiring a physician's care.

Outpatient Vs. Inpatient Care

It is care that has been discussed thoroughly above. Outpatient care, however, is care received after the patient has left the facility and is needing to come back for therapy or medicinal treatments but then goes back home or to a living facility where care is provided by oneself, an in-home caregiver, visiting nurse, or family or friend. Most facilities opt for outpatient care when the patient is able to care for themselves or has a care giver in place. The patient is still under a physician's care however, only comes to the facility for treatment periodically.