Workforce Survey of Pediatric Interfacility Transport Systems in the United States

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Abstract

Objectives

The interfacility transport of pediatric patients requires a highly skilled and well-trained workforce, of which little is known. The primary study purpose was to characterize the current state of pediatric interfacility transport in the United States including, but not limited to, which team models predominate, what team configurations are used, team training standards, and the use of quality assurance metrics.

Methods

A descriptive and qualitative Web-based survey questionnaire was developed. Potential participants were identified, and 1 survey was completed per team.

Results

In total, 179 teams with pediatric transport capabilities were identified, and 111 responses were recorded (response rate, 62%), of which dedicated teams comprised 77% and unit-based teams comprised 16%. Over 98% reported using a registered nurse as a team member, in comparison to 66% for respiratory therapists and 42% for paramedics. Less than 5% reported utilizing an associate level provider or physician for pediatric transports. The most common team composition was a registered nurse-respiratory therapist combination (30%). Over 55% of the respondents reported performing less than 500 pediatric transports per year. Quality assurance activities were performed by 96% of the respondents.

Conclusions

The team composition and training for interfacility transport of pediatric patients is a complex and not well-characterized process; furthermore, the varying organizational models, team composition, and training requirements for teams have not been previously reported. These results will aid in the future development of team standards for pediatric transport and help guide further improvements in this field.

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