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What is ambulatory care?

Ambulatory care is defined as a consultation, treatment or intervention that uses medical technology or procedures that are performed on an outpatient basis. This means that the patient will not stay in the hospital or clinic overnight, but instead will be admitted and discharged the same day.
Unlike in years past, advancing medical technology has made it possible for many medical investigations and treatments to be performed on an outpatient basis. Ambulatory care is used for a variety of acute illnesses and preventive health care procedures. Ambulatory care can preventative care.
In general, many types of dental care, dermatology services, diagnostic procedures such as blood tests and x-rays, and check-up procedures are performed as ambulatory care. Not all ambulatory care procedures are performed in traditional doctor’s offices, however. This type of care can also be provided in emergency room visits, rehabilitation clinic visits, and even telephone or internet consultations. In more unusual cases, ambulatory care can be provided at mobile clinics, pharmacies, and school clinics.
Ambulatory care is generally much cheaper than admitting a patient into a hospital or other care facility. Costs are minimized because a patient is able to arrive and leave on the same day, avoiding the need for a costly hospital bed. The cost savings are usually passed on to the patient through lower deductibles and co-pays.
In addition, many patients prefer the less invasive procedures and shorter recovery times that come with ambulatory care. Patients who are able to receive ambulatory care are less likely to develop infections after the procedures. Furthermore, the patient has to spend less time in the hospital, and they are often able to return to work the next day. Ambulatory care patients will usually need to schedule at least one follow-up visit with their doctor, but the care still takes less time than being admitted to a hospital or other healthcare facility.
Because of this, there is a push from insurance providers, patients, and health care professionals to increase ambulatory care as much as possible. There are many benefits to this type of care, leading to a recent increase in these types of procedures throughout the United States.

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