Outpatient status or walking in the health system


The word "outpatient" refers to walking. It is used quite frequently in healthcare settings to refer to various health-related aspects.

Martin Barro / Getty Images

If you have outpatient surgery, it will be outpatient. Once you are able to walk after surgery, you will go into an outpatient status. Even the cane or walker you use are called ambulatory assistive devices. To fully understand how your healthcare team uses the word outpatient, let's look at its many medical uses.

What does an outpatient clinic mean?

The word "ambulatory" is an adjective that means "associated with walking" or locomotion. It is used in different ways in medical situations. This may relate to the type of patient and the care setting, what the patient can do (i.e., walk), or the equipment and procedures that can be used while walking or on an outpatient basis.

When used to describe the care setting, such as outpatient care, it refers to outpatient services. These are those that the patient enters and leaves on an outpatient basis, rather than spending the night in the hospital. For example, you may have outpatient surgery, also called outpatient surgery .

When the patient is outpatient

Healthcare providers can treat a patient as an outpatient. This means that the patient can walk. After surgery or medical treatment, the patient may stop walking without assistance. As soon as the patient can do this, they will be started on an outpatient basis. The doctor may ask the nurse or therapist, "Is the patient an outpatient?"


The term "outpatient" can also refer to outpatients who are treated on an outpatient basis rather than inpatients. It is synonymous with outpatient treatment. They come and go to the hospital, they don't sleep.

In this case, patients may or may not be able to walk and may need a wheelchair. An outpatient clinic simply means that the patient is not in the hospital.

Ambulatory care

Outpatient or outpatient care is care that is provided outside of the hospital. This is another term for outpatient services.

On an outpatient basis, patients are admitted for treatment, rather than being admitted to a hospital. They usually go home the same day.

Outpatient care can be a department within a hospital or a facility outside of a hospital. They include:

  • Medical offices, where the patient goes to the doctor.
  • Clinics, including primary health care, specialty care, and psychiatric care
  • Emergency centers
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Hospital emergency services are outpatient facilities, although in this case the patient may be hospitalized .
  • Same day surgery centers in hospitals
  • Day care centers
  • Mental health services
  • Vision care
  • Dental care

Used in job titles

Health care professionals and health care related positions may include the word 'outpatient' to denote an outpatient facility and distinguish it from an inpatient position. This does not mean that the person doing the work must be able to walk.

For example, you can see the heading Outpatient Nurse or Outpatient Social Worker. This means that these people work strictly with outpatients.

Medical equipment

Ambulatory medical devices are mobile devices that a patient can carry or use on an outpatient basis or at home.

An example is ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. The patient wears a portable cuff to measure blood pressure for 24 hours while performing daily activities. The results are synchronized with a computer for data analysis. This gives doctors a clear idea of how your blood pressure changes over the course of a typical day.

In continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, the person dialyzes himself several times a day, rather than at the dialysis center. During this they do not go, but neither are they limited to the clinic or the hospital.

Assistive devices

Ambulatory assistive devices are used to help people walk. These include canes , crutches, and walkers .

Related Articles
Choosing foods to diet after a heart attack

All cardiovascular specialists agree that a healthy diet is important to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease (CHD) Read more

Different types of hysterectomies.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of a woman's uterus . Hysterectomy is usually done Read more

Esthetician: experience, specialties and training

An esthetician is a person who specializes in cosmetic skin care. Cosmetologists (sometimes called estheticians ) are not medical Read more

Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions.

CBD oil is an extract from Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa , the same plants that produce marijuana when Read more