Here is a broad overview of what you can expect:

  • The transfer center intake nurse will gather basic information such as name, diagnosis, etc., from the sending physician.

  • The transfer center nurse will connect the sending physician to the receiving physician for acceptance and discussion of any capacity constraints.

  • The transfer center will coordinate with bed placement at the receiving hospital to find an open bed

  • The transfer center will contact the nurse at the referring hospital to provide the room assignment when the bed becomes available.

  • The patient can then be transferred to the receiving BJC facility.

(While this is the general process, please note that some service referrals, such as psychiatry, are more complex and may require additional information.)

The BJC Transfer Center partners with each BJC hospital’s Patient Placement Center to place patients. We will respond to your transfer request as quickly as possible. Please note there are many factors under consideration throughout this process, including factors that can affect priority or placement and reasons for a possible delay.

Please note: BJC complies with all EMTALA obligations to accept appropriate transfers of individuals with an emergency medical condition where the receiving hospital has specialized capabilities or facilities and has the capacity to provide the care requested for those patients.

Factors Affecting Priority/PlacementReasons for Possible Delay
Time-critical diagnosis (trauma, stroke, stemi)Accepting physician multiple priorities – (OR, procedure, emergency, etc.)
ICUConsult service requested
AcuityBed availability (staffing/capacity)
Wait listTransfer Center call volume
Transfer Center call volumePatient isolation status
Hospital capabilitiesPatient special needs (bariatric, trach, etc.)


During the intake evaluation, some information can be provided by a unit secretary or nurse, while other information must be given by the referring physician.

Information for Calls
Unit Secretary or RN can provide:Physician/PA/APN must provide:
Patient nameChief complaint
Patient DOBShort HPI
Physician nameHospital preference
Hospital name/locationAny pertinent medical information
Patient location (ED/ICU, med/surg, etc.)Facility previous care/treatment received
Call back number(if applicable)


Nurse - BJC Transfer Center

About BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and southeast Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.

BJC Hospitals Include:
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