Acute care is a branch of secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery.
In medical terms, care for acute health conditions is the opposite from chronic care, or longer term care.
Acute care services are generally delivered by teams of health care professionals from a range of medical and surgical specialties. Acute care may require a stay in a hospital emergency department, ambulatory surgery center, urgent care centre or other short-term stay facility, along with the assistance of diagnostic services, surgery, or follow-up outpatient care in the community.
Hospital-based acute inpatient care typically has the goal of discharging patients as soon as they are deemed healthy and stable.
Acute care settings include but are not limited to: emergency department, intensive care, coronary care, cardiology, neonatal intensive care, and many general areas where the patient could become acutely unwell and require stabilization and transfer to another higher dependency unit for further treatment.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on January 18, 2016.