Observation Services (OS) was founded by emergency physicians in an attempt to manage "boarding" issues faced by emergency departments throughout the United States. As a result, OS have proven to be an effective strategy in reducing costs and decreasing lengths of stay while improving patient outcomes. When OS are appropriately leveraged for maximum efficiency, patients presenting to emergency departments with common disease processes can be effectively treated in a timely manner. A wellstructured observation program will help hospitals reduce the number of inappropriate, costly inpatient admissions while avoiding the potential of inappropriate discharges. Observation medicine is a complicated multidimensional issue that has generated much confusion. This service is designed to provide the best possible patient care in a value-based purchasing environment where quality, cost, and patient satisfaction must continually be addressed. Observation medicine is a service not a status. Therefore, patients are admitted to the service as outpatients no matter whether they are placed in a virtual or dedicated observation unit. The key to a successful observation program is to determine how to maximize efficiencies. This white paper provides the reader with the foundational guidance for observational services. It defines how to set up an observational service program, which diagnoses are most appropriate for admission, and what the future holds. The goal is to help care providers from any hospital deliver the most appropriate level of treatment, to the most appropriate patient, in the most appropriate location while controlling costs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine