What is a hospital transfer center?

Published: 01-07-2020 12:14 PM

Concord Hospital Chief Quality Officer Dr. Christopher Fore explains what a hospital transfer center is and how it serves patients in need of critical medical treatment.

A hospital transfer center is a centralized location managing all components of a patient’s transfer into a hospital system. This includes the process of identifying an accepting physician and coordinating the workflow required to place a patient in the most appropriate patient care unit.

The purpose of a hospital transfer center is to ensure patients in need of critical medical treatment have access to the most appropriate level of specialized care. Generally speaking, the majority of transfer centers help facilitate transfers from other institutions that lack specific service lines or capabilities required to care for a patient.

The key attributes of any hospital transfer center are communication and logistics. Clear and concise communication between referring providers and accepting providers is important, especially communication regarding what a patient needs. The logistics of arranging the transfer simply ensure the patient has access to needed bed space, testing and clinical resources.

A hospital transfer center plays a critical and important role in ensuring needed specialty services are provided to patients.

Transfer centers are typically staffed 24 hours a day to allow better access to medical services.

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(Christopher Fore is chief quality officer at Concord Hospital and a board-certified emergency medicine specialist. Fore recently presented on Concord Hospital’s Transfer Center at the December Concord Hospital Trust “What’s Up Doc?” Donor Lecture Series. The monthly series features members of Concord Hospital’s medical staff speaking to Concord Hospital Trust donors about new and innovative medical treatments and services. You can watch Dr. Fore’s presentation on Concord Hospital’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/concordhospital.)