Via Christi Direct Expediting Patient Transfers

Monday, October 17, 2016

The transfer process for patients to any of Via Christi’s three acute-care hospitals in Wichita is much easier since the launch of Via Christi Direct, a 24/7 control center designed to efficiently integrate operating services and seamlessly place inbound patients.

Schambra Starr, Director, Via Christi Direct

The center, located at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, houses an integrated team comprising associates from Dispatch, Case Management, Patient Placement, Environmental Services, Insurance Verification, Central Staffing, Nursing Operations and, during high census, Infection Control. It is designed to enhance patient throughput, resulting in more efficient and effective use of resources and better referring provider and patient outcomes and experience.

Via Christi Direct features customized dashboards which, along with other information, provide real-time monitoring — refreshed every 15 minutes — of incoming patients, occupancy and patient bed availability; Emergency Department patient throughput; and the status of room readiness following patient discharges.

It serves as a 24/7 point of contact for referral sites and physicians across the region to St. Francis, Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph and Via Christi Hospital St. Teresa.

Schambra Starr, the center’s Director, is excited about the improvements her team was able to make in a relatively short period of time.

“Via Christi Direct has enabled us to look at the traditional barriers that may have caused patient care delays and, through the creation of an integrated team, improve processes so that we can provide the best patient care possible,” Starr says.

Within its first six months of operation, the center reduced discharge delays by more than 200 hours and cut in half the time from admission to assignment of a DRG. It also has reduced wait time for nurse-to-nurse report from transferring facilities and decreased the number of rapid responses due to appropriate patient location.


Via Christi Direct’s bank of customized dashboards provide real-time monitoring of incoming patients, making the transfer process to Via Christi’s Wichita acute-care hospitals a more seamless experience.

How It Works

Via Christi Direct staff members are available 24 hours a day to assist with:

  • Direct admissions
  • Physician-to-physician consultations
  • Connecting to the Emergency Department
  • Outpatient and inpatient services
  • Coordinating the patient’s movement to improve patient flow and reduce wait times

Simply call Via Christi Direct at 800-353-3111.

Experienced staff will:

  • Request the patient’s name, age, diagnosis, specialty care or services requested, and demographics sheet, if available
  • Request your name, the name of your facility and your contact phone number
  • Connect you with the requested/appropriate specialist and coordinate a teleconference call to provide a physician-to-physician report for accepting the patient

As the referring facility or physician, you’ll be asked to fax the patient face sheet to 316-291-7698 before the transfer and send with the transport team:

  • Current medical records, including the Emergency Department record, if applicable
  • All relevant diagnostic studies
  • Medication records
  • Advance directives form
  • A signed release-of-information form
  • Any additional information that will help in the care of your patient