I've been on both sides of the issue at my present hospital (used to work on tele, now in ER), so I've seen the problems with each of the many approaches we've tried. When we used a telephone report, we seemed to end up playing phone tag. And, when we used a written report, it left the receiving nurse unprepared. (Another problem I noticed is that ER nurses tend to be unaware of just how busy floor nurses are, and floor nurses seldom realize that ER nurses are under pressure from management to move patients out quickly. One of those "customer satisfaction" issues.)
The system we're using now isn't perfect, but it seems to work better than anything else we've done. As soon as a bed assignment is obtained, the ER nurse fills out a computer form that includes basic information (vitals, IV status and orders, medications that need to be given, what was done in ER and so on), and any pertinent information that might be helpful, such as disabilities, patient concerns, and if the admitting doctor and/or any consults need to be notified.)
The report is then transmitted to the receiving unit, and the charge nurse is called and informed that it's been sent. It is his/her responsibilitiy to assign the patient, and the receiving nurse's responsibility, once aware that report has been filed, to read it and make sure the room is ready.
We then give the floor 20 minutes (unless they can take the patient sooner, or unless there's some special problem---e.g., an unstable patient, or they have to call in another nurse----requiring extra time.) During those 20 minutes, the receiving nurse can call down with questions or concerns. (They seldom have to do this, because we try to give them a thorough report through the computer----it saves us all time in the end!)
We've been using this method for over a year, and I've heard very few complaints from either side. It seems to work quite well, and patients are able to get off those awful carts and into a more comfortable bed in a timely manner.
(I should add that we're still doing critical care report the old-fashioned way----by phone.