Objective: The development of practice guidelines for the conduct of intra- and interhospital transport of the critically ill patient.
Data sources: A task force of experts in the field of patient transport drawn from the membership of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses provided the personal experience and published literature from which these guidelines were developed.
Study selection: Study design was not a factor in selecting the literature to validate the experts' personal experience. The lack of well-designed clinical outcome studies was an important factor in determining the method of practice policy development we utilized.
Data extraction: The expert task force met and developed a draft of these guidelines based on their experiences and the available literature. This draft document was then reviewed by an additional group of experts whose input was used by the task force to develop this final consensus report.
Data synthesis: Each hospital should have a formalized plan for intra- and interhospital transport that addresses the following elements: pretransport coordination and communication, transport equipment, accompanying personnel, monitoring during the transport, and documentation. The transport plan should be developed by a multidisciplinary team and should be evaluated and refined by the continuous quality improvement process.
Conclusion: The available data have allowed us to develop an evidence-based practice policy for the intra- and interhospital transport of the critically ill.