It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what goes on in an emergency department, intensive care unit or pediatric wing. But what about a hospital's observation services? Few Americans understand them or even know they exist. Which is why -- as health care costs continue to climb by the year -- it might come as a shock that these are the very services that could end up saving hospitals billions each year. Put simply, observation services are designed to determine which patients can be safely discharged from the hospital and which should remain for a longer stay.