Transfer, discharge and handover


Departure of Emergency Department Patients, PD2014_025, NSW Health 17 July 2014

This policy outlines the principles for implementing a standardised approach to determining whether a patient is ready for departure from NSW Emergency Departments (EDs) once the ED phase of their care is complete.


Inter-facility Transfer Process for Adults requiring Specialist Care, PD2011_031, NSW Health, 1 June 2011

To provide a process for the inter-facility transfer of adult patients requiring specialist care where existing clinical referral pathways do not exist or access to safe and timely care is delayed. Nominated tertiary referral centres are defined and require senior clinicians with facility Patient Flow Units to coordinate the safe and timely transfer of patients.

NSW critical care tertiary referral networks and transfer of care (adults) - PD2010_012, NSW Health, 30 March 2010

This policy directive relates to critically ill adult patients and patients at risk of critical deterioration requiring referral and transfer. The NSW Critical Care Tertiary Referral Networks (Adults) define the links between Area Health Services and tertiary referral hospitals and take into account established functional clinical referral relationships. Implicit to this policy is that access to emergency care and/or urgent surgical intervention for time-urgent critical patients is not to be delayed due to no-available ICU bed: the Aeromedical and Medical Retrieval Services (AMRS) is to be contacted immediately for such patients.

NSW critical care tertiary referral networks (paediatrics) - PD2010_030, NSW Health, 2 June 2010

This Policy Directive relates to critically ill children requiring inter-hospital transfer and should be read in conjunction with policy PD2005_157 Emergency Paediatric Referrals.

Children and Adolescents Inter-Facility Transfers - 2010_031, NSW Health, 2010



Retrieval Handover, PD2012_019, NSW Health, 19 April 2012

The purpose of this policy is to confirm the process to ensure a coordinated handover and transfer of care between hospital clinicians and medical retrieval teams. Compliance with this policy will minimise the chances of adverse events during handover of retrieval patients between hospital and retrieval teams.

ISBAR iPhone / iPad application, NSW Safe Clinical Handover Program and South Australian Health Department

The ISBAR iPhone / iPad application has been developed for clinical staff to provide prompts of the information required in handover. The prompts cover several patient categories including medical, surgical, mental health and the deteriorating patient. The application allows free form input to enable clinicians to develop individual handover prompts for other specialties, which is consistent with the flexible standardisation methodology. The application is available free of charge oniTunes and will be available to other Android platforms soon.

Download now by using the links below:

Ambulance to Emergency Department Handover Project (IMIST-AMBO)

This project was funded by the Ministerial Taskforce for Emergency Care to develop a handover protocol that ensured the smooth transfer of pre-hospital care into the acute setting. It was conducted by the Centre for Health Communication, UTS. The following resources are now available for hospitals implementing IMIST-AMBO:

  • ED poster for display at triage

  • Formatted triage sheet

  • Ambulance / Emergency Department Handover project report

  • Video - demonstrating to ED staff the use of IMIST-AMBO during the clinical handover of a patient (10 minutes in duration)

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