Where inpatient medicine involves patients who are admitted to a hospital, outpatient medicine allows patients to receive care and go home the same day. This generally reflects healthier patients having less complex interventions (whether checkups, surgeries or other). However, there is a growing movement to try to perform more and more complex procedures as an outpatient, because then there will not be the expense and aggravation of a hospitalization. For complex interventions, the physician must make sure the patient is going to recover well, since there will be no followup that night.

Out"-pa`tient (?), n.

A patient who is outside a hospital, but receives medical aid from it.


© Webster 1913.

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