Time is of the essence when transferring a critically ill patient. The University of Kansas Health System Transfer Center speeds and improves the process.
Fast, appropriate action
When you are faced with a critically ill patient who needs to be transferred, speed and appropriateness are equally important. That’s precisely what The University of Kansas Health System Transfer Center is designed to facilitate. When you call our toll-free line, the center takes prompt action to connect you with an attending physician. As soon as a transfer is determined to be appropriate, we accept your patient and begin arrangements for transportation, placement and records transfer in a well-coordinated and efficient effort.
For more than a decade, our transfer team has operated with a clear mission: to streamline the referral and acceptance process for urgent referrals, making it less time-consuming and more efficient for everyone. The goal is to get the right patient to the right place at the right time.
A critical element to our success is the availability of a board-certified intensivist in house 24/7. The center will ensure you receive a call from our intensivist or another attending physician. In addition to attending physicians in specialty areas, we have a dedicated team of hospitalists in house 24/7 and ready to discuss and admit your patient.
As the region’s premier academic medical center, The University of Kansas Health System considers among its earned certifications and accreditations:
- Full accreditation by The Joint Commission
- Verification as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons
- Designation as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission
- Full accreditation (with commendation) from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer
- Verified Burn Center by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons
- Certification by the American Association of Blood Banks
- Selection as a Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center by the American Heart Association
- Accreditation as a Heart Failure Institute by the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium
- Compliance with the College of American Pathologists guidelines
Specialty services receiving the majority of patients transferred here for care include:
- Internal medicine
- Cardiology/chest pain
- Critical care
- Trauma care
- Burn care
Information speeds process
The quality and completeness of information you provide can make a meaningful difference in the pace and success of the transfer. We ask you to give us a succinct report on the patient’s current condition and to transmit the critical vital stats and radiographs. Having recent images available can significantly affect our ability to treat the patient appropriately as quickly as needed.
When you speak with the attending physician, you may discuss the best options for immediate management as well as transportation specifics. Some referring physicians call the Transfer Center for validation of their patient management plans and confirmation that the patient is best kept at the current facility. At times, the referring physician and the attending may make a joint decision not to move the patient, based on stability or prognosis.
If the patient is to be transferred, we can help set up transportation, facilitate a nurse report, get a bed assigned, transfer radiology films and notify you when the patient arrives.
Focus on continuous improvement
Our leaders are standouts in the field of quality. We are setting trends for focusing on quality improvement, measurable outcomes and integration into overall hospital quality improvement, as evidenced by more than 200 professionals attending our presentations on operations and quality measures this year alone.
The results are clear: While the case mix index of our patients is much higher – at 4.8 vs. 1.65 for other admissions – our mortality rates remain in the lower ranges compared to those of other transfer centers.
Our staff are committed to making every transfer call the most important call. We engage in continuous process improvement including:
- Regularly monitoring a sample of Transfer Center calls
- Referring select calls for additional peer review
- When warranted, instantly changing processes or procedures to improve the very next call
As a case in point, we are studying the physician handoff to correlate the questions we ask with the outcomes we measure. For example, our patients tend to have a higher rate of sepsis than other patients do. We're examining whether outcomes might be affected by changing our standard pre-transfer questions and immediate interventions for such patients. We also are considering how our questions can address the patient’s stability, which affects whether we transfer them directly to the ICU.