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Australas J Ageing. 2010 Dec;29(4):167-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2010.00496.x.

Quantification of the proportion of transfers from residential aged care facilities to the emergency department that could be avoided through improved primary care services.

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South Metropolitan Area Health Service, Western Australia, Australia.



  To describe elderly patient transfers from residential aged care facilities (RACF) to hospital emergency departments (ED), and to estimate the proportion of transfers that may be avoidable with improved primary care service to RACF.


  A descriptive study analysing data from a single tertiary hospital ED patient database, medical record reviews from a random sample of RACF patients presenting to ED and previously published reports.


  Thirty-one per cent of all transfers at our hospital were potentially avoidable. This sits within the range (7% to 48%) found internationally. A small number of simple interventions could potentially reduce unnecessary ED transfer from RACF.


  Evidence from multiple sources suggests that a meaningful proportion of transfers from RACF to ED may be avoided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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