Hospital admission is the process of being accepted as an inpatient at a hospital. During the hospital admission process the hospital will gather information about you, you will fill out consent forms and required legal documents and payments may be pre-authorized by your insurance. If you know ahead of time that you will be admitted to a hospital, many hospitals have a pre-registration packet you can fill out, to reduce the amount of paperwork you have to manage on the day of your admission.
There are a number of reasons why a patient may be admitted to a hospital. The patient may require 24 hour care, be in labor or require tests or medications that can only be performed in the hospital.
Hospitals distinguish between inpatient and out patient procedures. Inpatient procedures can only be performed after a patient has been admitted to the hospital. They may take longer than outpatient procedures or require more treatment or observation once the procedure is complete. Outpatient procedures are usually quicker and lower-risk that inpatient procedures. The patient does not need to be admitted in order to undergo outpatient procedures.
Hospital admission must be recommended by a doctor in order for the hospital to begin the admission process. In practical terms, this means that your primary care physician, specialist or emergency room doctor must recommend admission. In many cases, the physician does not directly coordinate the hospital admission. Instead the physician calls a hospitalist to take over the process. A hospitalist is a physician who works in a hospital instead of a clinic or private practice.
When you are admitted to the hospital you should bring along your insurance card, but leave valuables and cash at home. Bring along a small overnight bag that contains, pajamas, basic toiletries, a change of clothes and slippers. Most hospital rooms do not have the space to store large amounts of baggage and you are unlikely to need anything beyond these basic necessities. Medications can usually be left at home as well, since the hospital staff should be aware of what medications you are taking and can provide any medications you need.