Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of imaging in transfers between an island Critical Access Hospital (CAH) emergency department (ED) and a quaternary care hospital. Methods: Electronic medical records were reviewed to identify all patients who were transferred from an island CAH to our quaternary care hospital in 2012 and 2013. Medical history, transfer diagnosis, and the type of imaging performed at the CAH prior to transfer were reviewed. Results: During the study period, a total of 22. 075 ED visits were made to the CAH and 696 (3.2%) of these patients were transferred for higher level of care, with 424 (60.9%) of the patients transferred to our quaternary care hospital. The most common reasons for transfer were cardiac (121; 28.5%), trauma (82; 19.3%), gastrointestinal (63; 14.9%), and neurologic conditions (54; 12.7%). Three hundred forty patients (80.2%) had imaging prior to transfer (56.4% radiograph, 33.5% computed tomography, 4.7% magnetic resonance imaging, 8.0% ultrasound). Of patients that had imaging, 53.6% had positive imaging findings related to the transfer diagnosis, and patients transferred for noncardiac etiologies were significantly more likely to have imaging findings related to their transfer diagnosis compared with patients transferred for cardiac etiologies (72.9% vs 6.9%, respectively; P< .0001). Conclusion: Approximately 3 of every 100 ED visits to the rural CAH required transfer for higher level of care, with nearly three-quarters of noncardiac transferred patients having a positive imaging finding related to the reason for transfer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine