Acute care

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Acute care is a branch of secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery. [1] [2] In medical terms, care for acute health conditions is the opposite from chronic care, or longer term care.

Contents

Acute care services are generally delivered by teams of health care professionals from a range of medical and surgical specialties. Acute care may require a stay in a hospital emergency department, ambulatory surgery center, urgent care centre or other short-term stay facility, along with the assistance of diagnostic services, surgery, or follow-up outpatient care in the community. [2] Hospital-based acute inpatient care typically has the goal of discharging patients as soon as they are deemed healthy and stable. [3] Acute care settings include emergency department, intensive care, coronary care, cardiology, neonatal intensive care, and many general areas where the patient could become acutely unwell and require stabilization and transfer to another higher dependency unit for further treatment.

Current issues in acute care

Australia

The 2009 "Final Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Acute Care Services in NSW Public Hospitals", known as The Garling Report, documented a series of high-profile medical controversies in the New South Wales public hospital system, and issued over one hundred recommendations that stimulated considerable discussion and controversy. [4]

United States

A federal law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) "requires most hospitals to provide an examination and needed stabilizing treatment, without consideration of insurance coverage or ability to pay, when a patient presents to an emergency room for attention to an emergency medical condition." [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Triage is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments by the severity of their condition or likelihood of recovery with and without treatment. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately; influencing the order and priority of emergency treatment, emergency transport, or transport destination for the patient.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is an act of the United States Congress, passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospital Emergency Departments that accept payments from Medicare to provide an appropriate medical screening examination (MSE) to anyone seeking treatment for a medical condition, regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. Participating hospitals may not transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment except with the informed consent or stabilization of the patient or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.

Emergency medicine Medical specialty concerned with care for patients who require immediate medical attention

Emergency medicine, also known as accident and emergency medicine, is the medical specialty concerned with the care of illnesses or injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Emergency physicians care for unscheduled and undifferentiated patients of all ages. As first-line providers, their primary responsibility is to initiate resuscitation and stabilization and to start investigations and interventions to diagnose and treat illnesses in the acute phase. Emergency physicians generally practise in hospital emergency departments, pre-hospital settings via emergency medical services, and intensive care units, but may also work in primary care settings such as urgent care clinics. Sub-specializations of emergency medicine include disaster medicine, medical toxicology, ultrasonography, critical care medicine, hyperbaric medicine, sports medicine, palliative care, or aerospace medicine.

Emergency department Medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine

An emergency department (ED), also known as an accident & emergency department (A&E), emergency room (ER), emergency ward (EW) or casualty department, is a medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine, the acute care of patients who present without prior appointment; either by their own means or by that of an ambulance. The emergency department is usually found in a hospital or other primary care center.

Health care Prevention of disease and promotion of wellbeing

Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by health professionals and allied health fields. Physicians and physician associates are a part of these health professionals. Dentistry, pharmacy, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, audiology, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training and other health professions are all part of health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.

Ambulatory care

Ambulatory care or outpatient care is medical care provided on an outpatient basis, including diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment, intervention, and rehabilitation services. This care can include advanced medical technology and procedures even when provided outside of hospitals.

Monash Medical Centre Hospital in Victoria, Australia

Monash Medical Centre (MMC) is a teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. It provides specialist tertiary-level healthcare to the Melbourne's south-east.

Westmead Hospital Hospital in New South Wales, Australia

Westmead Hospital is a major tertiary hospital in Sydney, Australia. Opened on 10 November 1978, the 975-bed hospital forms part of the Western Sydney Local Health District, and is a teaching hospital of Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney.

Royal North Shore Hospital Hospital in New South Wales, Australia

The Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) is a major public teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia, located in St Leonards. It serves as a teaching hospital for Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney and has approximately 700 beds. It is the referral hospital for Northern Sydney. Its primary referral area accommodates 5.7% of the Australian population or 17% of the NSW population.

Emergency psychiatry Clinical application of psychiatry in emergency settings

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Intensive care unit Hospital ward that provides intensive care medicine

An intensive care unit (ICU), also known as an intensive therapy unit or intensive treatment unit (ITU) or critical care unit (CCU), is a special department of a hospital or health care facility that provides intensive care medicine.

Mona Vale Hospital Hospital in New South Wales, Australia

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Jersey City Medical Center Hospital in Hudson County, New Jersey

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Homeless dumping Inappropriately releasing homeless or indigent patients

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Virtua

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Hospital Health care facility with specialized staff and equipment

A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing staff and medical equipment. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which typically has an emergency department to treat urgent health problems ranging from fire and accident victims to a sudden illness. A district hospital typically is the major health care facility in its region, with many beds for intensive care and additional beds for patients who need long-term care. Specialized hospitals include trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, seniors' (geriatric) hospitals, and hospitals for dealing with specific medical needs such as psychiatric treatment and certain disease categories. Specialized hospitals can help reduce health care costs compared to general hospitals. Hospitals are classified as general, specialty, or government depending on the sources of income received.

The Garling Report is a 2008 report prepared by the office of the Australian Commissioner Peter Garling, SC following a series of high-profile medical mishaps in the New South Wales public hospital system. For the duration of the commission, it was well covered by mass media. Its final 139 recommendations stimulated considerable discussion and controversy.

South Health Campus Hospital in Alberta, Canada

South Health Campus (SHC) is a large hospital in Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. It is administered by Alberta Health Services.

Belmont Hospital is an acute care public hospital servicing the City of Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia. Established in 1968, it is the only public hospital in the Local Government Area and is located on Croudace Bay Road in the suburb of Belmont. The hospital is operated by the Hunter New England Local Health District. The hospital underwent a major $31.5 million redevelopment between 2003 and 2007 allowing it to expand the range of specialist services available.

The Bureau of Health Information is an independent, board-governed statutory authority responsible for reporting on the performance of the health system in New South Wales, Australia.

References

  1. "News You Can Use: Health Care Glossary". ABC News . October 13, 2006. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  2. 1 2 Alberta Health Services. Acute care. Accessed 3 August 2011.
  3. Canadian Institute for Health Information. Acute care. Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 3 August 2011.
  4. Garling, Peter. Final Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Acute Care Services in NSW Public Hospitals, November 2008. Accessed 3 August 2011.
  5. "EMTALA.COM - Resources and information". www.emtala.com.