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Inpatient and Outpatient Health Care Facilities

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    What inpatient and outpatient health care facilities exist in the U.S.? What value do these facilities provide to community health care?

    Outpatient care is any health care service provided to a patient who is not admitted to a facility. Outpatient care may be provided in a doctor’s office, clinic, the patient’s home or hospital outpatient department. Outpatient treatment in a doctor’s office or clinic, often supplemented by medications administered at home, remains the norm for most routine care. Thanks to advances in treatments and technology, many tests and surgical procedures formerly conducted in the hospital can be done in an office setting. Outpatient care also provides the norm for most mental health and chemical dependency treatment. Inpatient care is care given to a patient admitted to a hospital, extended care facility, nursing home or other facility.

    Long term care is the range of services typically provided at skilled nursing, intermediate-care, personal care or eldercare facilities. Inpatient hospitalization makes sense for major diagnostic, surgical or therapeutic services, where the patient’s condition or response to medication must be closely monitored. In the case of mental health treatment, a hospital stay may make sense if the person is suicidal or self-destructive or poses a threat to others. In the case of chemical dependency or alcohol treatment, a hospital stay may be needed during the detoxification stage to monitor symptoms during withdrawal. Inpatient hospitalization also allows a combination of individual care, group therapy, community meetings and activities.

    How does the system of health care provision in the U.S. support goals of public health? Provide an example. The system of health care provisions in the United States support goals of public health by providing the country with programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. These are prime examples of what the health care system has to offer. A health system, also sometimes referred to as health care system, is the organization of people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations. There is a wide variety of health systems around the world, with as many histories and organizational structures as there are nations. In some countries, health system planning is distributed among market participants. In others, there is a concerted effort among governments, trade unions, charities, religious, or other coordinated bodies to deliver planned health care services targeted to the populations they serve.

    However, health care planning has been described as often evolutionary rather than revolutionary. A central goal of health care quality improvement is to maintain what is good about the existing health care system while focusing on the areas that need improvement. Improving the quality of care and reducing medical errors are priority areas for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Each year, millions of Americans receive health care services that are unnecessary, increase costs, and may even endanger their health. Research has shown that this occurs across all populations. For example, an analysis of hysterectomies performed on women in seven health plans found that one in six operations was inappropriate. A study examining the use of antibiotics for treating ear infections in children on Medicaid found that expensive antibiotics were used far more often than indicated.

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