100.003 Patient Transfers


Patient Transfers: The Texas Medical Association believes that to ensure continuity of care, physician-to-physician communication should occur prior to actual transfer of patients from one hospital to another. It should be clear that the receiving institution has available the anticipated services and space, and that the receiving physician and institution will accept the patient.

The physician requesting transfer should make direct contact with the receiving physician; this task should not be delegated to nurses, other hospital personnel or the family of the patient.

The physician-to-physician communication should include planning for and implementation of pretransfer and intratransfer medical care of the transferee.

All transfers should be to facilities appropriate to the needs of the patient, and socioeconomic considerations should be secondary.

If the patient or those responsible for the patient requests transfer which seems medically inappropriate, the medical risks involved must be carefully explained to the patient or those responsible for the patient. The physician should provide the explanation, and if the patient or family insists on transfer, the decision should be documented in writing and signed by the patient or those responsible, as well as by the physician.

All necessary and pertinent medical information and instructions to transfer personnel and other records should accompany the patient.

Proper medical care should be provided before and during transfer, including monitoring and charting the status of the patient.

Nonemergency (elective) patient transfers are beyond the scope of this guideline, and such transfers should follow traditional referral patterns and practices (PPA Committee, p 133-134, A-91; reaffirmed CSE Rep. 5-I-01; reaffirmed CSE Rep. 8-A-11).

Last Updated On

October 07, 2016