Patients are admitted to a hospital because a medical professional has determined that the person has a medical problem requiring surgery or further treatment, or because the patient is experiencing a medical emergency, states eMedicineHealth. These types of admissions are called elective and emergency admissions, respectively.
In some cases, a doctor determines that the treatment of a condition requires hospital care, but it is not necessary to have it immediately, according to eMedicineHealth. This is called an elective admission and usually involves conditions and treatments that can be safely delayed until it is convenient for both the patient and doctor.
However, some circumstances are considered to be threatening to life, limb or body, requiring help in a hospital's emergency care area, states eMedicineHealth. These types of admissions are called emergency admissions and are for conditions that cannot wait for treatment.
In most cases, the decision to admit a person to a hospital is made by either a patient's own doctor or an emergency medical care doctor who is working with the patient's personal doctor, states eMedicineHealth. However, an associate of a patient's doctor, called a covering doctor, can sometimes make the decision. A covering doctor takes the place of a patient's personal doctor outside of regular office hours.