Ask ECRI: Protocols for Emergency Patient Transfer to Higher Level Care

July 12, 2021 | Ambulatory Care Risk Management


​A member recently asked for information on a policy or procedure concerning transfers between surgical centers and offices to a higher level of care in the event of an emergency.

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and office-based surgery facilities must be prepared to handle emergencies when they arise. Hospital-based ambulatory surgery units should have a written plan in place for staff to call for additional support whenever a patient's condition warrants it or when a surgical outpatient requires transfer to an inpatient unit. Freestanding ASCs should have a transfer agreement with a hospital to expedite the safe transport of a patient to an inpatient facility when necessary. The ASC should have a written transfer protocol,...

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