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Inpatient and Outpatient Services

Inpatient and Outpatient Services

In “Chapter 5: Inpatient and Outpatient Services,” the authors note that hospitals and health systems have recorded a sharp decline in inpatient volumes. The experts predict that the number of inpatient services will continue to drop in the future. To understand how inpatient services will be in the future, an analysis of the factors that have caused this decline is imperative. Elective admissions that resulted after the recession, Affordable Care Act that puts pressure on healthcare to reduce readmissions, hospitals emphasizing on prevention and proactive care, and innovations that make outpatient safer and quicker are some of the reasons that have caused a decline in inpatient services (Pickens et al., 2018). Given that these long-term factors may not change any time soon, it is safe to assume that inpatient services will further decline in the future. Nonetheless, as Pickens et al. (2018) note, inpatient services will be more lean and efficient, as the healthcare system attempt to cut unnecessary costs.

Without a doubt, several new protocols and guidelines emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic that will remain even after the pandemic is over. More specifically, protocols that aim to reduce hospital-acquired infection will continue. Infection-control measures such as wearing surgical masks in hospitals, vigilant hand hygiene, and using personal protective equipment during patient care will remain. Unlike in the past, five years from now, it will be standard for patients to wear face masks, carry sanitizers in their pockets, or religiously wash their hands with soap and running water every time they visit the hospital (Jazieh & Kozlakidis, 2020). Also, following the success of self-quarantine measures during the pandemic, it will be standard for physicians to ask patients with respiratory conditions to stay in isolation.  





Pickens, G., Karaca, Z., Cutler, E., Dworsky, M., Eibner, C., Moore, B.,  & Wong, H. S. (2018). Changes in hospital inpatient utilization following health care reform. Health services research53(4), 2446-2469.

Jazieh, A. R., & Kozlakidis, Z. (2020). Healthcare transformation in the post-coronavirus pandemic era. Frontiers in Medicine7, 429.

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