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How to set up a hospital regional transfer center

Referral networks exist all over the country–bringing patients who need high tech or subspecialty care in from their local communities to a regional referral center.  This article describes how St. John’s Hospital (Springfield, IL), which is part of the Hospital Sisters Health System, took a careful look at referral practices and developed a plan to create a best-in-class referral center.  Changes implemented as as result of the planning process resulted in an increase in call volume and in transfers by about one-third during the first year.  Here are some interesting statistics related to the patients transferred in:

  • 6 percent higher case mix index compared to the hospital’s average
  • 10 percent higher contribution margin per case compared to the average inpatient at the hospital

Source: Mander, G.S., Finn, B., and Ritz, R.  Aligning physicians and managing service in a regional transfer center.  PEJ. Physician Executives Journal;39(5):54-59, Sept.-Oct. 2013.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://www.pej-acpe.org/pej-acpe/september_october_2013?pg=57#pg57  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org


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