According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), a hospital is a licensed institution with at least six beds and a primary function of providing diagnostic and therapeutic patient services for various medical conditions. Hospitals have an organized physician staff and provide continuous nursing services supervised by registered nurses.
To add to this definition, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that a hospital must be permanently staffed by at least one physician and able to offer inpatient accommodations.
Hospitals can be classified by ownership, service type, length of stay, and number of beds.
Some types of hospitals include:
- community hospitals
- registered hospitals
- short-stay hospitals
- special hospitals
- federal/government hospitals
- research hospitals