Types of Health Care Facilities
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HospitalA hospital's primary task is to provide short-term care for people with severe health issues resulting from injury, disease or genetic anomaly. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, hospitals bring together physicians in assorted specialties, a highly skilled nursing staff, various medical technicians, health care administrators and specialized equipment to deliver care to people with acute and chronic health conditions. Many hospitals offer a wide range of services, including emergency care, scheduled surgeries, labor and delivery services, diagnostic testing, lab work, and patient education. Depending on their health situation, patients may receive inpatient or outpatient care from a hospital.
Ambulatory Surgical CenterSome surgeries are too complex to be done safely in a doctor's office but simple enough that patients generally do not require hospital care after undergoing them. Ambulatory surgical centers are designed to provide these types of procedures. Also referred to as outpatient or same day surgery centers, these facilities offer a safe environment for the surgery and basic monitoring during the initial post-operation hours. Ambulatory surgical centers are often a less expensive option than a hospital. A study led by Dr. John Hollingsworth, a researcher at the University of Michigan's Dow Division of Health Services Research and Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy and an assistant professor of urology at the university, compared the cost of 22 common urology procedures at various health care facilities and found that the same procedures generally cost significantly less when performed at an ambulatory surgical center instead of a hospital.
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