Discharge or Transfer from the ICU

As a patient recovers from or stabilizes after a critical illness, the patient will be transferred out of Intensive Care. The transfer may be to another floor in the hospital, or to another hospital closer to the patient’s home. The team works with the patient and family in the transfer planning to ensure the Power of Attorney and family members are aware of the future plan of care after leaving the ICU.

One of the key steps in the transfer planning is to ensure the team receiving the patient has information about the patient’s history in the ICU, and significant events. The MSICU team will review the patient's health history with the receiving health care team.

It is normal for patients and their families to feel some anxiety and fear about leaving critical care. We encourage patients and families to express their concerns to the bedside nurse who can arrange meetings with appropriate members of the team to address any questions or concerns.

Discharge to another unit at University Hospital:

All patients discharged from the Medical-Surgical ICU to another floor within University Hospital are monitored for 1-2 days by the Critical Care Outreach Team (CCOT). The patient is assessed daily during CCOT's morning rounds to help smooth the transition and ensure staff and patients are getting the support they need.

The charge nurses, social worker, or the clinical nurse specialist will help you plan for the resources you and your family will need while on the floor.

Discharge to home:

Occasionally, some of our MSICU patients are discharged directly to home. There are a number of resources available to help patients when they return home. The care team will assist the family with plans for care after discharge from hospital.

The SW-LHIN Home and Community Care Coordinator will be consulted for all discharges home, and they will review the discharge care plan with the patient/family to determine if supports are required after discharge. 

Transfer to another hospital:

The MSICU supports patients from the London community as a primary hospital, but also supports patients referred from other regions of Ontario who require the specialized care offered in London.

Once the patient no longer requires the specialized skills and technology of LHSC, our ICU team will discuss the options for transferring the patient back to their community hospital with the family. If you have any questions about this, or concerns with the process, please see the bedside nurse. The bedside nurse will help you get in touch with the appropriate person to address any questions or concerns.