What factors influence decisions to transfer elderly patients?

This qualitative study, undertaken in Western Australia, explores factors that influence decision-making as to whether to transfer elderly people in residential care homes to the emergency department (ED) for acute medical problems. A total of 33 stakeholders participated in three focus groups: family members (n=5), GPs (n=4), carers (n=7), care-home managers (n=5), nurses working in the care home (n=5); and ED staff (n=7). In addition, semi-structured interviews were carried out with nine residents who had previous experience of being transferred to the ED for an acute medical problem.

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