Interfacility Transfer ToolkitClinicians Hospital Prehospital
To ensure the best possible health outcomes, critically ill and injured children should be treated at the facilities most prepared to address their needs. Often, however, children are treated at local community emergency departments where pediatric specialty services are not available – i.e. pediatric burn care. Therefore, healthcare facilities should have available written arrangements to formalize their procedures for transferring pediatric patients to specialized centers for optimal care.
Such arrangements include both interfacility transfer agreements and interfacility transfer guidelines. As defined by the EMSC NRC’s State Partnership Implementation Guide:
- Interfacility transfer agreements are written contracts between a referring facility (such as a community hospital) and a specialized pediatric center or a facility with a higher level of care and/or appropriate resources for the child. These agreements must formalize arrangements for consultation and transport of a pediatric patient to the higher level of care facility.
- Interfacility transfer guidelines are arranged between hospitals – including out of state/Territory facilities – and serve to outline procedural and administrative policies for transferring critically ill pediatric patients to facilities providing specialized pediatric care.
Note: For those interested in the designation of healthcare facilities as pediatric care centers, the NRC’s Facility Categorization Toolbox may provide additional useful information and resources. Similarly, the Pediatric Equipment Guidelines Toolbox contains additional resources for outfitting ambulances appropriately for pediatric patients.