There are over 5000 hospitals in the United States of America. These hospitals are classified in different ways depending on the services rendered and the authorities in charge of its operation and administration.
All hospitals provide medical and surgical care services to patients. Services rendered to patients may vary across different hospitals and even in hospitals within the same premises. This may be due to hospital size, location, available resources, staff, and other factors. As a result of these differences and factors, patients and health care practitioners must know the type of hospital rendering the type of services that applies to them.
Generally, hospitals are classified into two categories. They include; federal(government) and non-federal hospitals. Federal hospitals include; Veteran Administration and Military Hospitals- Army, Navy, and Air force. Hospitals in federal prisons are inclusive. However, non-federal hospitals are categorized based on different factors.
Listed below are the different factors used in the classification of non-federal hospitals.
Factors Used In The Classification of Non-Federal Hospitals.
Location: Hospitals can be classified based on location. Hospitals can be located in rural or urban communities. Rural hospitals are usually small in size and can only serve a limited number of patients at once. Access to equipment and physicians is also limited. On the other hand, urban hospitals are larger and have access to sophisticated equipment to treat patients properly. Rural hospitals offer a wide degree of versatility in treatment and surgical procedures.
Functionality: The functionality of a hospital refers to the purpose within the community where it is located. Classification of hospitals based on functionality can be done based on whether the hospital is a general hospital, acute/ short care facility, research hospital, long-term hospital, or community healthcare facility.
Healthcare institutions can further be classified based on their area of specialization. This includes; cardiac centers, rehabilitation centers, behavioral health centers, orthopedic centers, neurology centers, etc.
Size: Generally, hospitals are simply classified based on the number of beds they can accommodate. Categories include; small, medium, and large. For small hospitals, the bed size is less than 100, the medium is between 100 to 499, while large ones are any number above 500. However, there can be variations in these classifications in some health facilities.
Ownership: Knowing the ownership of a particular hospital tells you the kind of services to expect. Private-owned hospitals like Partida Corona Medical Center provide a more personal and fast-paced health care system. They are well known to have the latest technologies and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Unfortunately, these facilities are not always accessible to community members most in need of these services. On the other hand, government-sponsored hospitals are usually funded by public funds and grants. They have great restrictions and are mostly overwhelmed. Still, they are accessible by community members who can’t afford the bills of private-owned hospitals.
Area of Specialization: Specialist hospitals are known to house physicians whose aim in the medical field is to concentrate their study and services on a particular ailment, group of people, or area of medicine. Most physicians pick a field of medicine based on personal reasons or to give their family a comfortable life. Specialist hospitals may have access to treatment alternatives not available at other hospitals. Examples include organ transplants, special medical devices, and medication.
Outside all these general classifications of hospitals, some hospitals offer specialized services to members of a community. Listed below are common examples of specialist hospitals.
Research Hospitals: These hospitals are focused on carrying out research that can lead to the discovery of cures to different diseases and ailments. They also treat different illnesses and diseases. These types of hospitals are mostly funded through donations from government agencies. They are also commonly attached to higher learning institutions as most of the researchers working there also double as lecturers.
Children Hospitals: They focus on treating illnesses and ailments in children. Staff who work in these hospitals are specially trained to support the affected children emotionally and psychologically.
Psychiatric Hospitals: They are Involved in the treatment of mental illnesses through the use of medications, psychotherapy, and behavioral therapies. Some psychiatric hospitals focus on short-term illnesses, while some focus on emerging mental disorders. Others focus on the long-term treatment of patients.
Understanding the classification of hospitals is as important as the services rendered by these different classifications. Once you know the classifications, you will know what step to take and which hospital to visit when you need medical care.