Frequently Asked Questions

What information is the referring physician expected to provide?
  • Patient's Name
  • Patient’s date of birth
  • Admission date and location of the patient
  • Is this a transfer or a discussion?
  • Clinical description of the patient
  • If applicable, please push images into EMMC IMPAX for review
What happens after I make the call to the Transfer Center?
One of EMMC’s Transfer Center staff will connect you to the identified on-call clinician most likely to evaluate your request for transfer/discussion.

Will additional questions will be asked of me?
We will inquire as to your additional needs, as follows:
How will the patient be transported? If patient is to come by air, then patient weight must be known.
Is the patient on any isolation precautions (examples: C-diff, Influenza, etc. or have history of MRSA or VRE)?

Are all the services and patient age groups/types served by the Transfer Center?
No, if you require the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the present system of access via the EMMC operators should be used.

Will multiple phone calls be required?
  • This may occur, but we will initiate them.
  • If the clinical condition of the patient changes, please alert us.
Will I always be able to reach Transfer Center staff?
  • The Transfer Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • If Transfer Center staff is managing another transfer/discussion, your call will be forwarded to an automated voice messaging system. Please leave a message and we will call you back.
May I still call the EMMC Emergency Department, Eastern Maine Inpatient Care, a specific service, or physician to arrange a transfer to bypass the Transfer Center?
Our unit secretaries and EMMC hospital operators will re-direct your requests for a transfer to the Transfer Center automatically, except if you need the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

What if I have a problem with a specific patient transfer?
We encourage you to speak with one of our directors.
Norm Dinerman, MD, FACEP – Physician Liaison, office: 973-8005 cell: 907-9767
Marcia Wren, RN – Director, 973-8560

Will the Transfer Center arrange for transport of my patient?
  • If you need the Critical Care Transport Team, we will involve MedComm to activate the team.
  • We may suggest transport medicine options for you to pursue for those patients who do not require critical care transport.
If I need an emergency discussion, may I use the Transfer Center?
  • Yes, we will use our process to identify the clinician most likely to serve your needs, and those of your patient.
  • We will facilitate a telemedicine consult at your request.
Is the Transfer Center to be used for elective transfers or referrals?
  • No, the Transfer Center is to be used for those patients with an unscheduled demand for care.
  • Emergent/urgent transfer may be immediate, staged, or timed to align clinical status with nursing unit bed availability.
My patient is critically ill or injured. Do I wait for an admitting clinician and a bed before initiating the transfer?
  • We have identified such patients as auto-accepts.
    • Included are patients with STEMI’s in need of immediate PCI, acute ischemic stroke, sepsis, and post-arrest patients, and those in need of immediate operative intervention or intensivist care.
  • Only under extraordinary circumstances of over-capacity would we decline a patient if we possess the capability to care for them.
Will the process to transfer my patient take longer?
By aggregating the individuals with whom you need to speak and collecting all the information at once, we hope to decrease your overall time and minimize the risk of lapses or errors.

Must I wait for a clinician to take my call?
In practice, our clinicians will respond to your call within ten minutes.

Will the Transfer Center obtain a bed for my patient?
Yes, the Transfer Center is integrated with all the elements of the admission process, including assignment of the patient to a nursing unit.

By calling the Transfer Center, is this a guarantee of admission?
As with all transfers, clinical propriety, bed capacity, and capability will be part of the conversation, and determine the ability of EMMC to accommodate the request.

May a secretary or nurse colleague initiate the transfer process?
Yes, they should be prepared to provide sufficient clinical information to enable transfer center staff to identify an appropriate receiving clinician to whom you may then speak.