Inpatient Transfer Requests

Our Transfer Center is open 24/7 and staffed by a registered nurse.

In most cases, we request that transferring hospitals or physicians send a Transfer Request Form and a signed Transfer Notification and Agreement Form before calling. This allows us to have a more efficient discussion with you when you call.

Requests are evaluated by a Transfer Center registered nurse in collaboration with a UC San Diego Health physician. Decisions are based on the required level of care, capacity and approval of the accepting physician. If the request is cleared, a Transfer Center nurse will secure a bed and arrange for appropriate transportation.

Special Conditions

UC San Diego Health is recognized as one of the country's premier health care systems and the only academic health system in San Diego. We offer treatments not available elsewhere in the region. Please see special instructions for these conditions:

ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation)

For all ECMO inquiries, please include an ECMO Referral Intake Form with the Transfer Center Request Form. (Learn about our ECMO capabilities.)

Acute Neurological Conditions

Call 619-543-5709 for triage advice, including real-time image review (optional image upload link), for patients with acute, severe neurological conditions, including acute ischemic stroke (AIS), intracranial hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracranial mass lesion, status epilepticus (SE) or central nervous system (CNS) infection. Our experts can help you determine if the transfer is needed.

Lung and Liver Transplants

For lung and liver transplants, please complete a Lung Transplant Transfer Request or Liver Transplant Transfer Request (both pages), and use the image upload link. For all other types of organ transplants, use the standard transfer request form. (Learn more about our nationally ranked transplant center, offering heart, lung, liver, kidney and multi-organ transplant services.)

Other Specialties

Follow the standard instructions above for these specialties.

  • BMT (blood and marrow transplant)
  • Cancer/oncology
  • Gastroenterology / liver disease
  • Heart failure
  • Microvascular surgery
  • Neurology (including triage for acute, severe conditions)
  • Obstetrics
  • PTE (pulmonary thromboendarterectomy)
  • Bariatric surgery / gastric banding / Lap-Band
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Organ transplants (other than liver and lung — see above)
  • Trauma, surgical critical care and burns

Your Point of Contact

We use a multidisciplinary approach to patient transfer, coordinating with physicians, Transfer Center staff, case managers and financial counselors. Our Transfer Center serves as the point of contact for:

  • Clinical triage
  • Pre-certification
  • Bed identification
  • Transfer preparations
  • Inter-facility transport
  • Regular patient updates

Our Transfer Center policies and guidelines are designed to adhere to Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) regulations and to facilitate the request in the fastest manner possible.

Transfer Center Forms and Contact Information