How Do I Choose Between Inpatient and Outpatient

Seeking treatment for a serious illness isn’t always an easy task to undertake. Inpatient and outpatient care both have their benefits and disadvantages, but the ultimate choice must be made with the patient’s personal situation in mind. Recovery is a process, and it is imperative to be informed before making choices that will assist individuals and families. Inpatient and outpatient care are not always independent of each other, and many recovery processes require both to maintain balance for an individual who may need outpatient care for a lengthier period of time.

Inpatient Care Benefits

Inpatient care serves a variety of needs for patients in dire need of care. Due to innovations in healthcare technology, and advancements in outpatient care regimens, inpatient care is no longer considered the only option for individuals who are severely in need of constant medical attention and assistance. However, in the first stages of an illness, one should be carefully monitored, and there is no better place than the inpatient environment. This inpatient stay needed extend into an indefinite period of time. Recent statistics seem to suggest that this is true.

Most inpatient stays are a little less than a week. The average length of the inpatient stays in 2010 was a short 4.8 days. 35.1 million patients were recorded as being discharged, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inpatient care is preferable to outpatient care when dealing with cognitive behavioral therapy as well as other related health issues. Clinical behavioral therapy for older inpatient individuals has been shown to be effective through one particular study for depression. Other forms of inpatient care target different forms of illnesses. Different types of inpatient facilities are as follows:

  • Acute Care Facility
  • Nursing Homes
  • Rehabilitation Facility

Upon admission to a hospital, it may be advised by medical personnel for overnight stay. Depending upon the severity and nature of the illness of condition, there are always choices available for the individual who may not benefit from immediate discharge paired with outpatient care. Questions to ask your hospital staff should relate to your doctor’s specialty, availability, and exact nature of illness. After reviewing this information with the medical staff, family, and your insurance company, decide what inpatient facility might be more appropriate.

Outpatient Care

At least 82.1% of adults have had outpatient care as of 2012, and it looks as if these numbers will go up with population inflation. Among the most common reason for individuals to visit physician office is a cough. Outpatient treatment has become the norm for patients who are assessed to have non-critical illnesses. A doctor’s visit for flu or a skinned knee are example of common reasons for outpatient visits. Someone in the beginning stages of a mental health issue, or burgeoning addiction problem, might also choose outpatient care to prevent their illness from progressing to inpatient However outpatient care is often used subsequently to inpatient care to increase the effectiveness of successful inpatient recovery processes. Outpatient care is ideal for patients who do not exhibit severe illness or conditions that compromise their health in a daily situation. Outpatient care encourages people to utilize resources such as house visits, literature, and treatments which are easily integrated into daily life.

A residential program will provide a programs which is intensive and encompasses each part of a person’s day. Although outpatient treatment is less costly, the amount of services available to the individual are dramatically lessened, and the environment in which the individual finds themselves is not always therapeutic. Patients who choose to undergo outpatient care for behavioral or cognitive issues take on the added stress of ensuring that they are surrounded by support groups, appropriate friends and family members, who will be conducive to the recovery process, and scheduling their lives around ongoing treatment. While this is not difficult for everyone, this is a major consideration to take when deciding on outpatient treatment over inpatient treatment, which is much more comprehensive. Outpatient services can consist of the following:

  • Life Skills
  • Re-socialization Skills
  • Group and Individual Therapy

Taking this information into consideration, be aware there are many treatment options for the individual who needs to embark on their own recovery process. A major part of the recovery process is the environment in which it’s done. There are many benefits to inpatient recovery as well as outpatient, but the choice depends upon the individual. Recovery needs can be as unique as the individual. It’s important not to disregard these needs if at all possible. While it’s easy to surmise that serious conditions or situations in a person’s life will likely require a therapeutic environment, it takes courage and determination to make the right choices at turbulent times. Do the research needed and make the right decision for treatment.

1 comment

  1. Alice

    When you pick a rehab you need to pick one that offers the tools to help you stop your addiction. Inpatient is the best because you stay as long as you need to and they also have an aftercare program to make sure you are ready to go back into the real world.

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