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Nurs Health Sci. 2007 Mar;9(1):48-53.

Reconsidering the transfer of patients from the intensive care unit to the ward: a case study approach.

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School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Evidence indicates that the poorly managed transfer of a patient from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the ward can lead to physical and psychological complications for the patient, and often require ICU readmission and rehospitalization. Reviewing this patient transfer process to improve the quality of care would be a positive step towards enhancing patients' recovery and providing skills to staff. The aim of this paper is to review case studies of transferring ICU patients to general wards in order to identify the shortcomings of this process. A literature review was conducted to evaluate current practices in the ICU transfer process. The results of this paper have clinical implications, suggest approaches to improve support for patients and their carers, and provide strategies to improve the transfer procedure.

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