Over the last decade, health systems have invested substantial time and money in technology such as electronic health records (EHRs), secure communication, and decision support to improve patient care. However, systems in the midst of these technology upgrades often neglect a key step in the care process – the patient transfer.
Many health systems are still using EHRs, spreadsheets, or even paper to manage transitions of care. These solutions are not optimized for the complex logistics of patient transfers – and they don’t provide the advanced reporting necessary to identify opportunities for growth or operational efficiency.
Today’s health systems need a purpose-built solution to address the needs and challenges of transfer centers – one that improves efficiency, helping care teams find the right doctor and the right location for each and every patient. Central Logic Transfer Center is uniquely positioned to do the job.
3 Ways the Transfer Center Addresses Key Clinical Challenges
In the face of numerous regulatory and business pressures, health systems may see the transfer center as a low priority for technology investment. However, the transfer center is well-positioned to address three specific challenges that clinical leaders continue to face.
Delivering high-quality, cost-effective care. Healthcare’s ongoing shift from fee-for-service to value-based business models forces health systems to improve clinical outcomes while also reducing the cost of providing care. This requires leadership to explore opportunities to shift care to the most appropriate venue in order to lower unnecessary costs and reduce waste. The transfer center is at the front line of care transitions.
Limiting burnout in a resource-constrained environment. With operating margins tight, clinical staff are often called upon to do more with less – to handle greater call volumes and to care for more patients without the benefit of additional resources. Left unaddressed, this pressure can easily lead to burnout and cause staff to leave. A centralized transfer center provides clinical staff with a one-stop shop for all patient transfers. They have the information they need to provide patients with the right care at the right time, which reduces stress and improves job satisfaction.
Obtaining buy-in for new solutions. Many organizations have underestimated how implementing software solutions at the point of care can disrupt clinical workflows. For example, one study showed that physicians spend more time at their computers than they do seeing patients. Efficient patient transfers let clinical staff spend less time completing administrative tasks and more time taking care of patients.
“I usually refer to the transfer center as ‘the magic workers.’ It’s a one-stop shop where a medical professional will listen to what you need, facilitate consultations, arrange the transfer, and help us do the right thing for the patient.”
Dean B. Kostov, MD, Riverside Health System, Neurosurgeon
Why the Transfer Center Should Be a High-Priority Investment
We believe that the transfer center should be a high-priority investment. Not only do health systems pay more to deliver care in the wrong venue, but patient outcomes suffer. For example, research shown that patients with cardiac conditions and mental health conditions who remain in the ED too long are at a greater risk of adverse events and death than those who are transferred to the ICU.
Here are three key ways that Central Logic Transfer Center can help your health system optimize transitions of care – and respond to the pressures that have kept health systems from investing in transfer center solutions.
- Because transfer centers empower clinical staff to work quickly and efficiently. Central Logic Transfer Center is designed to complement your existing clinical workflows, not force you to change them. Our solution is aligned with clinical and regulatory protocols for transfer center operations, assuring clinical staff that their decisions are consistent with industry best practices, meet the needs of patients, and reduce the likelihood of errors.
Coordination of services allows staff at multiple levels throughout your organization to make more informed care decisions. Automated reporting, mobile communications, and centralized scheduling all reduce the administrative burden of manual patient transfers.
- Because transfer centers improve quality. Central Logic Transfer Center gives health systems a centralized solution for managing patient transfers, provider schedules, clinical communications, and real-time data capture. These features offer several benefits that impact patient outcomes and improve the reputation of your health system:
- When nurses can see which in-network providers have beds available, they expedite “time to yes” for the approval of transfers or other treatments. Some health systems will even automatically accept patients in certain situations.
- When referring sites have questions, nurses can look up case notes within seconds, enabling prompt and informed care decisions.
- Referral managers can review time-stamped records of transfers and follow-ups to determine if the most appropriate action was taken in individual cases. These reviews also help shape the strategic goals of the transfer center, such as where to recruit new referring providers.
“While we expected growth during the first and subsequent years after deployment, Mercy Connect has grown more quickly than we originally estimated.”
Robert Gavora, Mercy Medical Center, Director of Referrals
- Because transfer centers drive physician satisfaction. Enabling physicians to provide more efficient and effective care boosts physician satisfaction within your organization – simply put, you make it easier for them to do their jobs. This also improves relationships with referring providers, since it gives them a single, centralized resource for arranging transfers and offers assurance that clinical staff answering the phone understand the care pathways that a patient will need.
In addition to increasing the productivity of your transfer center, the flexibility of our solution will help your health system diversify the types of transfers it can accept – providing patients with better access to care and giving your health system a lever for growth.