Term: Observation Units

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2011-05-30


A designated area within or near an Emergency Department (ED) of an acute care hospital where patients are assessed to determine if they need to be admitted to hospital. Observation may include reassessment, diagnostic testing and short-term treatment. It may take up to twenty-four hours, at which time a decision is reached whether to send a patient home or admit him/her to hospital.

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