A hospital offers various types of health care services. The mix of services depends on the basic mission and objective of the hospital. Some hospitals are nonprofit while others are for-profit. During peacetime, hospitals are usually indicated with a white ‘H’ on a blue background. However, during armed conflict, hospitals may be marked with a red cross, crescent, or crystal. These symbols are in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
A hospital staff includes a variety of specialists. The first person you will encounter is usually a nurse. Nurses will ask about your medical history and symptoms. They will also help you settle in your hospital room and take your vital signs. These measurements include your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. During these tests, a nurse will try to get a clear picture of your overall health.
In addition to providing health care services, hospitals also house and research facilities. They often offer diagnostic services and help with surgery. These services make a hospital a one-stop institution for health care. For example, a general hospital may have a trauma center and emergency department. Some hospitals also have their own ambulances.
Hospitals have to pay more attention to quality care, which can be assessed with the help of hospital accreditation. Various parts of the world award accreditation for hospitals to help ensure the quality of care they offer. Hospital departments include inpatient and outpatient departments, as well as the surgical and physical medicine units. Other departments include pharmacy and non-professional services.
Many hospitals started as charitable institutions, often founded by religious organizations. Throughout the centuries, secular authorities have stepped in to support institutional health care. By the 15th century, over 200 hospitals were operating in England to address the increasing needs of the population. After Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, the responsibility for institutional health care was gradually transferred from the religious order to the state.
Other support units in a hospital include laboratory services, pharmacy care, and social work services. Among other responsibilities, these units oversee the care of patients during their stay in the hospital. Other administrative functions include medical records departments, staffing, and housekeeping and laundry. In addition, many departments are responsible for protecting the hospital and its facilities.
Hospitals face several obstacles in their quest to improve care. While past solutions may be applicable to some challenges, many new ones call for innovative approaches. One of these is the need to coordinate care between hospitals. This can be accomplished through a variety of models, including integrated care delivery. But the big question remains: How do we improve the performance of hospitals?
In a modern hospital, nurses and doctors use advanced technology to provide high-quality health care. This allows them to provide more sophisticated treatments to patients.