Units have been opened at two north Wales hospitals for people who need extra monitoring after being admitted to emergency departments.
The facilities at Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor hospital are intended to free space at emergency departments and reduce demand for ward beds.
Patients will then be monitored for 24 hours before being sent home or admitted to hospital.
A similar unit is planned for Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at Bodelwyddan.
Dr Linda Dykes, consultant in emergency medicine at Ysbyty Gwynedd emergency department, said: "Staff in the emergency departments provide initial treatment and carry out any necessary tests, following which suitable patients can be transferred to the units."
She said this will reduce emergency department overcrowding as well as reducing the demand for specialty ward beds.
"Most patients admitted to the the units will simply require a period of observation before they can go home to be returned to the care of their GP, but a few may need to be admitted to hospital for a longer stay."
The units will also provide patients with an alternative to spending many hours in the main emergency department according to Lynn Roberts, senior nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd emergency department.
"[They will provide] a much more appropriate and comfortable environment," she added.
Christine Lynes, associate chief of staff for primary, community and specialist medicine said the units would provide a "more effective service".
"This is an important development in reducing pressures on emergency departments and ensuring that we keep hospital beds free for those patients who really need them," she added.