Inter-Hospital Transfer

1.11 Inter-hospital Transfer

Hospital protocol:

This inter-facility transfer protocol is established to further define existing Broward County Ordinances to best protect the healthcare interests of the citizens of Broward County, while acting as an active steward to our EMS resources.

After a decision has been made to transfer a patient from the initial treating hospital to another facility for additional and/or further definitive care, the transfer modality appropriate for the patient should be determined.


In a non-trauma hospital, after a physician evaluation, it is determined that a patient meets Trauma Transport Criteria, the transferring facility should CALL 911 to arrange for transport of the patient to the nearest appropriate Trauma Center.

    1. Patients that may be considered emergent patient transfers will require immediate additional or definitive care upon arrival at the receiving facility.
    2. Examples of patients that may be considered as emergent patient transfers include, but are not limited to:
      • STEMIs
      • Neurosurgical patients requiring immediate interventions.
      • Aortic dissections requiring immediate interventions.
    3. Initial call should be to a transfer agency (Attachment 1) other than 911 to determine the response time for transferring the patient.
    4. If, in the judgment of the treating physician, the response time is acceptable, the patient should be transferred via the transfer agency. (Acceptable/Non-acceptable response times should be determined by the patient's medical care needs and not by the needs of the transferring facility)
    5. If, in the judgment of the treating physician the response time is not acceptable, then CALL 911 to arrange for transport of the patient.
    6. Consider the patient's medical care needs (e.g. vents, IV drip medications, IABP) when choosing appropriate ALS care during patient transfers.
    1. Patients considered urgent and/or non-emergent transfers are those requiring transportation to a facility that provides a higher level of care or a timely specialty consultation routinely requiring admission.
    2. Examples of patients that may be considered as urgent/non-emergent patient transfers include, but are not limited to:
      • Pediatric patients
      • OB patients equal to or greater than 20 weeks gestation
      • Non-STEMI cardiac patients
      • Trauma Consults
      • Neurosurgical evaluations/consultations
    3. A call should be placed to a transfer agency to arrange for patient transfer. (911 should not be used in most of the above cases.)

      Attachment 1
      American Ambulance Medics
      Ambulance Service American
      Medical Response (AMR)
      Sheriff of Broward County, Florida Dept. of Fire Rescue
      Coral Springs Fire Rescue
      Margate Fire Rescue
      Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue
      Plantation Fire Rescue
      Pompano Beach Fire Rescue
      Seminole Tribe of Florida, Dept. of EMS
      Tamarac Fire Rescue