Key messages

  • Effective transfer of care plays an important role in enhancing patient outcomes, minimising readmissions, improving hospital efficiency and improving patient flow through health services.
  • There are guidelines for managing the transfer of acute inpatients to promote consistent and more effective transfer of care practices.

Discharge from an acute inpatient setting often involves the transfer of patient care to a general practitioner (GP), a carer, family members, a community service or an aged care facility. The transfer of care process plays a central role in enhancing patient outcomes, reducing readmissions, improving hospital efficiency and improving patient flow through health services.

Managing the transfer of care of acute inpatients

Transfer of care from acute inpatient services: guidelines for managing the transfer of care of acute inpatients from Victoria's public health services was released in 2014 to:

  • promote consistent transfer of care practices across the Victorian public health system
  • support health services to review their existing discharge and transfer of care practices and to implement more effective transfer of care processes
  • improve communication between health services and the patient, the patient’s family and/or carer, the patient’s GP and community service providers.

Health services are encouraged to develop or update their own local policies, procedures and staff education programs to align with the principles and guidelines specified in this document.

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