A hospital is a health care institution consisting of doctors and well-trained nurses to provide treatment to patients with the help of medical equipment. The word hospital originates from the Latin word ‘hospes’, meaning visitor or stranger. A hospital is a social organization that meets the needs of the patients and helps in the growth of society. Every health problem cannot be solved at home or in a clinic. Intensive medical treatment and personal care are required in some cases and a hospital provides it without any social and racial discrimination.
Classification of hospitals
Based on their objective and services, hospitals are classified as,
- Teaching-cum-Research Hospitals – The motive of these hospitals is to train the medicos and improve their knowledge. They are teaching based hospitals and promote research-oriented activities. Here healthcare is a secondary function.
- General Hospitals – Providing medical care to the needy is the main objective of the general hospitals. Both medical and surgical care is available to the patients here.
- Specialized Hospitals – These hospitals provide specialized care in treating a specific disease. In-depth care and equipment are available along with specialized doctors.
Based on their ownership and control, hospitals can be segregated into government hospitals, voluntary agency hospitals, and private hospitals. According to different systems of medicine, the medications are classified as, Allopathic, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, and Unani.
Functions of a Hospital
The main function of hospitals is to provide preventive and curative healthcare services. Diagnosing the patient is an open challenge to the doctors. First, the patients are examined and investigated. Based on their condition they are admitted in the general ward, special ward or the intensive care unit. Health supervision and immunization of the sick and healthy children are carried out at regular intervals by the doctors. Patients with contagious diseases are isolated and thus further spreading of the diseases is prevented.
Health education is provided to improve the standard of healthcare among the society. Hospitals conduct frequent training programs to the nurses to keep them updated with the developments in science and technology.
Departments of Hospitals
- Casualty department deals with patients who are brought in by an ambulance and who need immediate treatment. It works 24/7.
- Admission department deals with collecting personal information about the patients and involves in signing consents before admitting them in the ward.
- Anaesthetic department doctors are responsible to provide anaesthesia to the patients before surgeries or any other invasive procedure.
- Cardiology department deals with the problems related to heart, where both diagnosis and treatment facilities are available.
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) deals with seriously ill patients. This unit has fewer beds and patients are given special individual care.
- Diagnostic Imaging department consists of infrastructure such as X-Ray machines, CT scan machines, and MRI scan machines.
- Gastroenterology department examines and cures digestive and gastrointestinal disorders.
- Gynaecology department is related to reproductive health.
- Maternity wards assists in child birth and postnatal support.
- Neonatal unit is linked with the maternity department. It provides care and support for new-born babies and premature babies.
- Oncology department provides treatments for cancerous tumours and blood disorders.
- Pharmacy is responsible for the supply and distribution of the drugs within the hospital and to the patients.
In the olden days, hospitals were small, and doctors were very few. At present, there are specialized hospitals providing treatment to the people. And, patient satisfaction is an ideal performance indicator for the hospitals.