Observation units: Happier patients, better outcomes and lower costs

As part of the initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act nearly a decade ago, federal policymakers adopted the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aim.” Focused on reducing expenses, better quality and higher patient satisfaction, the framework’s effects can be seen throughout the nation’s healthcare system today, including the explosion of new telehealth applications and urgent care clinics. Similar to these popular, convenient consumer-based options, short-term observation units are becoming increasingly common within the walls of U.S. hospitals — and it’s not difficult to see why.
 

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