Ann Rehabil Med.  2020 Apr;44(2):151-157. 10.5535/arm.2020.44.2.151.

Frequency of and Reasons for Unplanned Transfers From the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility in a Tertiary Hospital

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea


To characterize the patients in the inpatient rehabilitation facility who were transferred to acute care facilities and identify the frequency of and reasons for the unplanned transfer.
Medical records of patients admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation facility from October 2017 to December 2018 were reviewed. Patients were categorized according to their diagnoses. The included patients were divided into the unplanned transfer and control groups based on whether they required to transfer to another department for acute care before completing an uninterrupted rehabilitation course. The groups were compared in terms of sex, age, length of stay, admission sources, and disease groups. The reasons for unplanned transfers were classified based on medical or surgical conditions.
Of the 1,378 patients were admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation facility, 1,301 satisfied inclusion criteria. Among them, 121 (9.3%) were unexpectedly transferred to the medical or surgical department. The unplanned transfer group had a higher age (69.54±12.53 vs. 64.39±15.32 years; p=0.001) and longer length of stay (85.69±66.08 vs. 37.81±31.13 days; p<0.001) than the control group. The top 3 reasons for unplanned transfers were infectious disease, cardiopulmonary disease, and orthopedic problem.
The unplanned transfer group had a significantly higher age and longer length of stay. The most common reason for the unplanned transfer was infectious disease. However, the proportions of those with orthopedic and neurological problems were relatively high. Therefore, further studies of these patient populations may help organize systematic strategies that are needed to reduce unplanned transfers to acute facilities for patients in rehabilitation facilities.


Rehabilitation; Complications; Length of stay; Patient transfer; Infections
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