Your status as a patient in the hospital is based on the level of care you need. When we choose your status at first, we decide it based on our understanding of your condition. Sometimes, the conditions and care chosen for inpatient versus observation placement seem similar.
Inpatient status is when you are in the hospital and need specific kinds of care. The care you need is usually more complex or longer. When we choose a formal inpatient admission status initially, it is because we have a care plan that routinely requires more than a day.
Observation status, when chosen initially, is when you are placed in a bed anywhere within the hospital, but have an unclear need for longer care or your condition usually responds to less than 48 hours of care. As an observation patient, you may be admitted after the care starts, or you may be discharged home, or you may receive other care. In short, you are being observed to make sure the care is best for you – not too short or too long.
Please know that no matter what your status, your health care team will provide the care that you need.