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Outpatient care is any healthcare service that doesn’t require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility. The services that are related with outpatient care are private practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, freestanding facilities, mobile facilities, telephone triage, home care, hospice care, outpatient long-term care, public health, community health centers, and alternative medicine clinics (Shi & Singh, 2019, p. 155). Outpatient care can also be simple surgeries like getting your wisdom teeth taken out or getting a skin biopsy done. In today’s healthcare it’s all about how the healthcare facility can provide the best product while being able to make the most amount of money. The reason for this is due to other facilities might be able to offer the same service that is outpatient but the hospital might be an inpatient service. The outpatient service in turn would be more desirable for the patient for a few different reasons. The first would be the ability to go back to a person’s home and be comfortable in that environment. The second would be the cost that the patient might have to pay out of pocket for whatever service that was offered. In one study that was involving people that had foot surgeries done it was found that there was a 54% less cost for the patients that were in the outpatient service compared to the inpatient people. It was also noted that there was no difference between recovery/infection rate (Oh, Perlas, Lau, Gandhi, & Chan, 2016).

When it comes to healthcare services being able to continue being provided for outpatient services it can be done just by following up with a primary care physician. A good example of this could be a simple procedure done and it’s time for the stitches to come out. You don’t need to set up an appointment. Those type of quick followup things are just a look over and making sure it heals the way it’s supposed to and more than likely given a print out of some sort that give instructions on how to care for what you had done and if any of certain signs are present make a call, otherwise do x,y, and z and let it heal up. Being able to have outpatient services is always more enjoyable than an inpatient service. In Proverbs 17:22 (ESV), “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”. I know when I have had outpatient services I have been in a better mood just because of the benefits of being able to rest up at my own home. In contrast when I have had to stay overnight in a hospital it’s a down type of mood because the sleep is not as good because the beds are uncomfortable and the RN/CNA have to make their rounds and do checks which make your sleep not as good. Then they tell you to make sure you get some rest and all you’re thinking about is you’re trying. Which drives into the next point as why it’s important for healthcare administrators to have outpatient services as a key component to the business strategy.

When it comes down to the outpatient services in the healthcare market for business it really comes down to a competitive market. If one clinic can do the same procedure as the other clinic but it’s an outpatient service compared to having to stay overnight at the other place. More than likely you will probably choose the outpatient services over having to stay at the other one just for the simple fact of being able to go home when it’s done. Since this method is also cheaper for the individual the clinic that is performing the services will also get incentives under the reimbursement system. More and more clinics are trying to get the newer technology to be able to have outpatient services to be competitive with other clinics as well (Topolyan, Brasington, & Xu, 2019). Administrators have to be aware of these kinds of trends in the market so the revenue can still be a constant flow and not become stagnant. By understanding that when individuals don’t have to stay overnight in a facility more money can be by being able to have more people in and out of beds as opposed to having people take up beds and not being able to have new patients rotate in.

References

English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online. https://esv.literalword.com/

Oh, J., Perlas, A., Lau, J., Gandhi, R., Chan, V. (2016). Functional outcome and cost-effectiveness of outpatient vs inpatient care for complex hind-foot and ankle surgery. A retrospective cohort study, Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, 35, 20-25. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinane.2016.07.014.

Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2019). Essentials of the U.S. health care system — with access (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Topolyan, I., Brasington, D., Xu, X. (2019). Assessing the degree of competitiveness in the market for outpatient hospital services. Journal of Economics and Business, 105. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinane.2016.07.014

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