Yellow Envelope initiative

The Yellow Envelope Initiative aims to improve communication and the continuity of patient care by:

  • enhancing the transfer of vital information between acute care and the patient’s Residential Aged Care Facility
  • improving access to timely diagnostic, prescribing and discharge information
  • reducing pressure on the acute setting by providing timely patient information
  • the Yellow Envelope is a communication tool that assists staff of residential aged care facilities (RACFs) and hospitals to provide
  • relevant medical information about patients transferred between hospitals and RACFs. It supports any existing electronic patient records that may be shared between health providers.

How it works

  • the envelope design and size is a visual prompt to alert hospital staff that the patient is a resident of a RACF
  • relevant information about the patient can be found in the envelope upon admission to the emergency department or to the hospital ward
  • the envelope remains with the patient’s chart throughout their hospital stay and its contents are updated by hospital staff upon discharge
  • the envelope prompts a more comprehensive discharge process, collecting discharge information from those involved in the patient’s hospital care and providing relevant information back to the patient’s usual carer (RACF and GP) in a timely way.

The yellow envelope is:

  • easily recognizable
  • familiar to many health professionals
  • a hard copy mechanism for ensuring patient information is transferred between RACFs and hospitals, particularly where no shared electronic record exists.

The design

It is a C4 size yellow/gold envelope with checklists printed on both sides.

The front of the envelope is a checklist of information hospitals may need when the patient arrives at the emergency department or is admitted to a ward, including patient, RACF, alternate decision makers and GP details. This side is completed by RACF staff when a patient is transferred to hospital.

Printed on the reverse side is a checklist of information required by RACF staff from the hospital upon discharge back to the facility. Prompts include remind staff of required actions including ‘GP contacted’, ‘Family contacted’, ‘Facility advised of patient return’

To learn more about or obtain stocks of Yellow Envelopes, please phone 1300 467 265.