A blueprint for critical care transport research

Air Med J. 2013 Jan-Feb;32(1):30-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amj.2012.11.001.


Introduction: An estimated 500,000 critical care patient transports occur annually in the United States. Little research exists to inform optimal practices, promote safety, or encourage responsible, cost-effective use of this resource. Previous efforts to develop a research agenda have not yielded significant progress in producing much-needed scientific study.

Purpose: Identify and characterize areas of research needed to direct the development of evidence-based guidelines

Methods: The study used a modified Delphi technique to develop a concept map of the research domains in critical care transport. Proprietary, internet-based software was used for both data collection and analysis. The study was conducted in 3 phases: brainstorming, categorizing, and prioritizing, using experts from all aspects of critical care transport.

Results: A total of 101 research questions were developed and ranked by 27 participants representing the transport community and stakeholders. An 8-cluster solution was developed with multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis to identify the following research areas: clinical care, education/training, finance, human factors, patient outcomes, safety, team configuration, and utilization. A plot characterized each domain by urgency and feasibility.

Conclusion: The content and concepts represented by the cluster map can help direct research planning in the critical care transport industry and prioritize funding decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care*
  • Delphi Technique
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Research*
  • Transportation of Patients*
  • United States