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Brigham Health Access Center pilot transfer program enables us to care for more patients

Care Redesign and Innovation

In the spring of 2017, the Brigham Health Access Center began a pilot program to refine the way transfer requests from area hospitals are managed with the goal of enabling Brigham Health and other members of the Partners HealthCare system to care for more patients. A year later, the program is seeing great success.

When an area emergency room or inpatient setting has a patient that requires tertiary and quaternary care, they can call the Access Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The staff in the Access Center gather the necessary information and determine if the patient should be transferred to Brigham and Women’s Hospital or Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. The process allows for efficient, timely and safe transfer to the most appropriate setting.

Eric Goralnick, MD, MS, Medical Director for Emergency Preparedness and the Access Center, says this is the future of medicine. “Our aim is to provide the best value to our patients: high quality care at low cost by finding the right bed for the right level of care,” he explains. “Our aim of optimizing system integration is to triage patients requiring complex, tertiary, multi-specialty care to our academic medical center and lower acuity patients to our community hospitals within our system. These innovations allow us to provide greater access by matching patients clinical needs to the right level of care from both a quality and cost perspective.”

“The more collaboration across the system, the stronger we will be,” says Executive Director of Patient Access Services Sheila Harris. “I feel like we’ve done great things on our own, but think of all we could achieve to provide a better service to our patients and providers if we work together more often. It’s exciting to think about what our future will look like if we can expand this program and others across the network.”

Maria Murray, BSN, RN, MM, Nursing Director in the Access Center, agrees. “It’s all about getting patients the right care, at the right time and at the right place,” she says. “I’m happy that we’ve been able to support our sister hospitals throughout this process and function as a system.”

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