What Qualifies As An Inpatient Stay and What are The Advantages


Have you ever been sick to a point where the doctor orders that you stay in the hospital for a few nights?

This is always a recommended option when medical specialists believe that your condition could worsen anytime.

Most people have been in this situation or have seen their loved ones in the same state.

However, not everyone understands where such cases fall, whether under inpatient stay or a different category.

It’s worth noting that once the doctor has diagnosed your condition, he has the liberty of deciding whether you should stay in the hospital or at home.

In other words, they’ll either recommend an inpatient or outpatient stay. Well established hospitals like Idaho Falls Community Hospital offer either of these services depending on the circumstances.

What Is An Inpatient Stay?


An inpatient is someone who has been admitted to a medical facility following the doctor’s orders.

The patient has to stay at the hospital for at least one night. During this time, their health will be closely supervised by the doctor or nurse on duty.

Depending on the hospital where the inpatient is being treated, this type of care might come at an extra cost.

An inpatient stay is basically the act of staying at the hospital overnight to receive the necessary medical care.

Based on this definition, to qualify as an inpatient stay, the patient must spend at least one night at the hospital where they were treated.

Therefore, it goes without saying that you’re only classified as an inpatient after the formal documentation has been completed.

While this might seem like an obvious fact, many people get confused whenever they’re tagged as an inpatient.

Let’s take persons who rush to the emergency room as an example. The moment these persons step into the room, they are still considered outpatients.

They retain this status until the results are received and the doctor orders that they remain under the hospital’s care.

At this point, they transition into an inpatient until they’re formally discharged from the facility.

Although spending the night at the hospital is one of the core characteristics of an inpatient stay, it’s not always the case.

For one, the doctor might order that you wait for your test results or stay for further observations.

At this point, you might decide to remain within the hospital premises as you wait for a go signal from your doctor.

However, your status will remain as an outpatient, unless the doctor orders your admission as an inpatient.

What is The Difference Between Inpatient And Outpatient?

This topic can be quite confusing, especially since there are two sides of the coin. We have already mentioned the term ‘outpatient care’ in this article.

It’s the opposite of inpatient treatment, and their distinguishing features can be quite ambiguous.

Here are some factors that distinguish the two hospital terms. Perhaps one of the most significant differences between these two patient care services is where you receive the subsequent treatment.

As mentioned earlier, inpatient admission demands that you stay within the hospital or health clinics until the doctor allows you to be discharged.

On the contrary, outpatient services are offered outside the hospital premises.

In such cases, you might be required to visit the hospital after a given span of time for the physician to check on your progress.

Another distinguishing feature between these two patient care services is the type of medical procedure involved that may affect the doctor’s decision.

The following are the instances that require inpatient care, Complex surgeries like organ transplantation, Childbirth, Serious health issues.

The following are tests when outpatient care will most likely be recommended, Urinalysis, Blood tests, CT scans and chest x rays.

What are The Advantages Of Inpatient Care?

There are many advantages that come with inpatient care, and that includes the containment of contagious illnesses.

If one is diagnosed with a disease and isolated from other people, then it’ll be easier to deal with the situation.

In addition, the doctors will be able to monitor the condition closely and decide the best treatment for the patient.

Today’s environment isn’t as favorable as before, given the current rate of pollution.

As such, you need protection from radiation, pollutants, and other particles that can worsen your condition.

With inpatient care, a clean environment is guaranteed. This allows you to recover more quickly.

As such, it becomes easier to deal with the disease even at its most crucial stage. It’s the best option when you have co occurring conditions that require constant examination and treatment until the symptoms lessen and disappear completely.

What are The Disadvantages Of Inpatient Stay?

Like any other kind of services, inpatient stay also has its own drawbacks that might make it unsuitable for some people. For one, the cost of inpatient stay can be very high for a low income patient.

The fact that you’re receiving all the inpatient care services on top of the basic medical care means you’ll have to pay more.

Moreover, not all of these services can be covered by any health insurance company.

Another drawback is the patient’s transition from the outside world to an enclosed medical facility. It might seem easy to confine and separate someone from their everyday life, but it becomes more difficult for the patient in the long run.

In some cases, this may impact the recovery process given that the person needs to adjust to the new environment.

An inpatient stay is part of the medical services offered by many established hospitals, where a patient is admitted to the facility until they’ve fully recovered.

However, not everyone who stays at the hospital overnight qualifies as an inpatient.

One’s status only changes from outpatient to inpatient following the doctor’s orders. A known benefit of an inpatient stay is that it enhances your recovery.

However, it can also do the opposite for a patient who struggles to adapt to the new environment. In such cases, it’s up to the physician to decide what’s best for the patient.