Independent hospitals that are not part of a system are becoming increasingly rare, as mergers are becoming more frequent. Some patients come to a hospital only for diagnosis, treatment or therapy and then leave (outpatients) without staying overnight; others are admitted and stay overnight or for several days, weeks or months (inpatients). This department is responsible for the administration of professional nursing practice, research and hospital policy. However, there are several Catholic religious orders, such as the Alexians and the Sisters of Bon Secours, who are still engaged in hospital ministry in the late 1990s, as well as other Christian denominations, such as the Methodists and Lutherans, who run hospitals.
In England, after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540 by King Henry VIII, the Church abruptly stopped supporting hospitals, and it was only at the direct request of the citizens of London that St Bartholomew's, St Thomas's and St Mary of Bethlehem's (Bedlam) hospitals were endowed directly by the crown; this was the first case of secular support for medical institutions. A district hospital is usually the main health facility in its region, with many beds for intensive care and others for patients needing long-term care. Outside these main categories, there are many other types of hospitals, usually specialised in certain types of care. In addition, the nursing staff in these hospitals may have a little more time for patients because there are fewer staff shortages.
A specialised hospital is dedicated primarily and exclusively to one or a few related medical specialties. Developing countries, which contain a large proportion of the world's population, often do not have enough hospitals, equipment and trained staff to handle the volume of people needing care. Teaching hospitals are usually associated with a medical school, conduct medical research and often use the latest technologies and treatments. Non-teaching hospitals serve only the local community and are not associated with a university or medical school.
Medical hospital: The medical hospital includes the treatment and management of patients by a team of physicians. In addition, teaching hospitals tend to serve a higher percentage of poor patients, such as Medicaid, Medicare and the uninsured. The Hospital of the Holy Spirit, founded in 1145 in Montpellier, France, acquired a high reputation and subsequently became one of the most important centres in Europe for the training of physicians. Specialised hospitals include trauma centres, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, hospitals for the elderly (geriatric hospitals) and hospitals for specific medical needs, such as psychiatric treatment (see psychiatric hospital) and certain categories of diseases.