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.
Copyright © 2013 Air Medical Journal Associates. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.