Nursing home characteristics associated with resident transfers to emergency departments

Can J Aging. 2014 Mar;33(1):38-48. doi: 10.1017/S0714980813000615. Epub 2014 Jan 3.


This study examined how nursing home facility ownership and organizational characteristics relate to emergency department (ED) transfer rates. The sample included a retrospective cohort of nursing home residents in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (n = 13,140). Rates of ED transfers were compared between nursing home ownership types. Administrative data were further linked to survey-derived data of facility organizational characteristics for exploratory analysis. Crude ED transfer rates (transfers/100 resident years) were 69, 70, and 51, respectively, in for-profit, non-profit, and publicly owned facilities. Controlling for sex and age, public ownership was associated with lower ED transfer rates compared to for-profit and non-profit ownership. Results showed that higher total direct-care nursing hours per resident day, and presence of allied health staff--disproportionately present in publicly owned facilities--were associated with lower transfer rates. A number of other facility organizational characteristics--unrelated to ownership--were also associated with transfer rates.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • British Columbia
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration*
  • Ownership / organization & administration
  • Patient Transfer* / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Workforce