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Delaware's patient transfer document now includes end of life decisions

Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Healthcare Association has updated the form used to transfer patients between different medical providers in the state. It now includes information relating to end of life medical decisions.

Delaware’s Interagency Transfer Form travels with a transferred patient to a new facility and is meant to provide only the most critical medical information. It has been updated several times since it was first drafted in 1973 and 2017 legislation made it law to use this form for each patient transfer.

The Delaware Healthcare Association is testing the latest updates to the form in a 3-month pilot. The changes include adding what are known as Delaware Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment or DMOST.

“So for example if I’m a patient who said, ‘I do not want to undergo CPR or be placed on a ventilator indefinitely,’ it enables the patient in a legal fashion to document that in an order set that is then observed and followed by the medical providers,” said Healthcare Association Vice President Megan Williams.

Williams adds the pilot period is to determine if the form is transferable both electronically and as a hard copy as different medical providers use different formats. She says in its final form the document will be passed along and stored in the Delaware Health Information Network.

“Our challenge was to actually design a form that could be used at multiple entry points along that continuum from paper and pencil all the way through to direct automation into DHIN,” said Williams.

Williams the new form also includes information on infections that were not identified when the most recent changes were made to the form in 2006.

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