A patient is a person receiving medical care and/or treatment. The person may be waiting for this care or may be receiving it or may have already received it. There is considerable lack of agreement about the precise meaning of the term "patient." From the Latin verb "patior" meaning "to suffer" both in the sense of feeling pain and in the sense of forbearance. Thus, the two uses of the word "patient" -- as a noun denoting "someone who suffers" and as an adjective meaning "to bear with forbearance" -- stem from the same origin.
Patient centered care is the hallmark of quality health care. This approach encourages respectful and responsive collaboration between health care professionals and patients and takes into consideration patients’ preferences, needs and values. Understanding patient experience is a key step in moving toward patient-centered care. By looking at various aspects of patient experience, one can assess the extent to which patients are receiving care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient.
Inpatient and Outpatient[change | change source]
Inpatient care requires overnight hospitalization. Patients must stay at the medical facility where their procedure was done for at least one night. During this time, they remain under the supervision of a nurse or doctor.
Patients receiving outpatient care don’t need to spend a night in a hospital. They're free to leave the doctor’s office, outpatient clinic or hospital once the procedure is over. Sometimes, they need to wait while anesthesia wears off or to make sure there aren’t any complications. As long as there aren’t any serious complications, though, patients don’t have to spend the night being supervised.