An outpatient is a person who receives one or more services of a health care facility without being admitted as an inpatient. If a patient is booked for outpatient services, even though the patient may not go home the same day, the patient should be considered an outpatient and the record should not be changed to inpatient status.

There are no time limits that define outpatient status. Rather, it is the patient's condition and needs that determine whether inpatient admission is ordered (with bed assignment) and status is changed from outpatient to inpatient.

A patient may occupy and inpatient bed and still maintain outpatient status if the intent is to treat the patient as an outpatient and an inpatient admission has not been ordered.

Related Concepts

    • Synonyms: Ambulatory Care, Short Stay

    • Terminology: MeSH