Hospitals are known for their ability to provide a wide variety of services to meet the needs of their patients. However, the specific services that your hospital offers may vary depending on your location.
Below are some of the most common services offered by hospitals across the United States. Keep in mind that not all hospitals offer these same services, so be sure to check with your local hospital to see what they have to offer.
A hospital provides patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment, often but not always for longer-term patient stays.
Modern hospitals are typically divided into departments such as emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and so forth.
Some hospitals may specialize in certain areas of medicine or types of treatment or diagnoses.
What kind of services do most hospitals provide?
The following are services that most hospitals provide:
1. Emergency care
Hospitals offer various services, but emergency care is one of the most important.
Emergency departments in hospitals are usually open 24 hours a day and provide evaluation and treatment to patients with injuries or medical conditions requiring immediate attention.
In addition, many larger hospitals also provide specialty care for certain types of injuries or traumas, such as:
- Burn care: the treatment of wounds and injuries caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, radiation, or friction
- Cancer treatments
- Stroke rehabilitation and
- Heart attack.
Emergency rooms also often provide non-emergency medical services in cases where a specialist is not needed.
2. Outpatient Department (OPD)
Also known as an outpatient department, outpatients do not need to stay in the hospital overnight for observation or treatment. They are treated in an outpatient setting and can be released after their appointment.
Some of the most common services provided at an OPD include:
Elective surgeries that do not require lengthy hospitalizations, diagnostic tests such as a colonoscopy, and care for minor injuries
A lot of hospitals also offer alternative medicine therapies such as acupuncture.
3. Ward facilities
Most hospitals provide a wide range of wards to accommodate their patients, which means a hospital room or suite in which a patient is placed for care. While each ward varies from facility to facility, most hospitals have the following types of wards:
- General medical/surgical ward:
This type of ward provides short-term, acute care for those who don’t require specialized services. Patients are usually admitted temporarily for premature babies, short-term illnesses or injuries, and post-operative care.
- Intensive care unit (ICU):
These wards provide critical care for patients who require close monitoring and advanced treatment. They are typically reserved for patients with severe or life-threatening conditions.
- Respiratory therapy facility:
Some hospitals have a separate respiratory therapy unit, while many smaller facilities offer this service as another ward. This specialized care provides 24-hour care for those patients who need breathing assistance or treatment.
- Psychiatric Wards:
These wards provide psychiatric and psychological support to people with mental health conditions such as depression or drug dependency.
- Coronary care units:
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, so coronary care units are essential for most hospitals. These wards provide intensive monitoring and treatment for heart conditions or cardiac problems.
Some common services offered on a CCU include:
- Electrocardiogram testing
- Intravenous medications, and
- Physical therapy.
4. Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Most hospitals have an intensive care unit that provides specialized, round-the-clock medical and nursing care for those who require advanced treatment or close monitoring due to a critical illness or injury.
These units typically provide the following services:
- Intravenous medication administration
- Respiratory therapy
- Blood transfusions
- Kidney dialysis
- Mechanical ventilation
This facility provides care for premature newborns and those with congenital abnormalities or other medical conditions affecting their vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control.
Most hospitals provide maternity care, supporting mothers before, during, and after childbirth. These services are essential for women who have pregnancy complications or high-risk births.
The maternity ward contains labor rooms or labor suites where pregnant women are admitted to deliver their babies. There are also post-partum units, nursery facilities for newborns, and special care areas for women who need specialized care.
6. Laboratory and Diagnostic Services
Hospitals also provide diagnostic services that allow patients to get tested and diagnosed for various illnesses or conditions.
These tests are conducted by medical professionals such as physicians, nurses, radiologists, registered nurses, technologists, technicians, sonographers/ultrasound technicians.
Patients can have blood samples taken via an intravenous line, urine samples, and other bodily fluids.
Other diagnostic tests conducted in hospitals include:
- X-rays to examine bones, internal organs such as the heart and lungs, or teeth;
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps physicians diagnose neurological conditions such as brain tumors or stroke; and
- Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan allows doctors to detect tumors, spinal injury, or bone fractures.
- Ultrasounds to check baby’s movement and development.
Most Hospitals provide surgical services that help repair or remove damaged tissue, stop internal bleeding, and treat life-threatening conditions.
Patients are typically admitted to the general surgery ward when they require short-term treatment for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses requiring immediate care.
Surgical wards include:
- General surgery
- Plastic surgery focuses on repairing or restoring the form and function of the face, head, neck, and extremities.
- Orthopedic surgery alleviates conditions caused by a break, fracture, dislocation, or another muscular-skeletal injury.
- Neurosurgery for conditions such as brain tumors or spinal injuries.
Children’s hospitals provide surgical services for kids who need one or more of the following procedures:
- Blood transfusion
- Bone marrow transplantation
- Mechanical ventilation
- Neurosurgical operations
- Organ transplants
- Procedures to remove tumors and
- Respiratory support.
Most hospitals have a pharmacy that gives patients the medicine to fight infections, relieve pain, or treat other symptoms.
Under strict guidelines, these medications are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Patients can also fill their medication in pre-packaged containers or special pharmacy machines.
Nursing units also provide patients with intravenous therapy, TPN (total parenteral nutrition), and hydration pumps for patients who cannot eat or drink due to illness.
Hospital pharmacies must comply with the Drug Enforcement Act and distribute and dispense medications in a controlled manner that complies with state laws.
Patients who are admitted to the hospital receive their medications in a variety of ways, including via:
- Topical medicine applied directly to the skin
- Oral pills
- Intravenous treatment
- Continuous fluids are given through an IV line inserted into a vein for long-term hydration or nutrition.
- Patients can either keep their medication when discharged from the hospital or return it to the pharmacy so other patients can use it.
Other Services Provided by Hospitals
In addition to medical services, hospitals also provide non-medical assistance such as:
- Hospital chaplains who offer spiritual guidance and support to patients and their families
- Dieticians who help patients eat a healthy diet that helps them recover from their illness
- Lodging for family members or friends who want to be close by while a loved one is treated.
Hospitals provide a range of services that help patients get well and stay healthy.
These services may include:
What are the primary services provided by hospitals?
- Hospitals provide medical services to help fight disease or injury, including surgery, pharmacy, and diagnostic tests.
- Patients can also get other types of care in hospitals, such as lodging, chaplain visits, dietary guidance, and support for family members.
Who can be treated at a hospital?
- Patients suffering from life-threatening injuries or acute conditions typically go to a hospital’s emergency department.
- Some patients can be treated on an outpatient basis by seeing their doctor at the clinic instead of the hospital if they don’t require surgery, overnight care, or other complex treatments.