Decision-Making in Pediatric Transport Team Dispatch Using Script Concordance Testing*

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Our objective was to compare decision-making in dispatching pediatric transport teams by Medical Directors of pediatric transport teams (serving as experts) to that of Pediatric Intensivists and Critical Care fellows who often serve as Medical Control physicians. Understanding decision-making around team composition and dispatch could impact clinical management, cost effectiveness, and educational needs.


Survey was developed using Script Concordance Testing guidelines. The survey contained 15 transport case vignettes covering 20 scenarios (45 questions). Eleven scenarios assessed impact of intrinsic patient factors (e.g., procedural needs), whereas nine assessed extrinsic factors (e.g., weather).


Pediatric Critical Care programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (the United States).


Pediatric Intensivists and senior Critical Care fellows at Pediatric Critical Care programs were the target population with Transport Medical Directors serving as the expert panel.



Measurements and Main Results:

Survey results were scored per Script Concordance Testing guidelines. Concordance within groups was assessed using simple percentage agreement. There was little concordance in decision-making by Transport Medical Directors (median Script Concordance Testing percentage score [interquartile range] of 33.9 [30.4–37.3]). In addition, there was no statistically significant difference between the median Script Concordance Testing scores among the senior fellows and Pediatric Intensivists (31.1 [29.6–33.2] vs 29.7 [28.3–32.3], respectively; p = 0.12). Transport Medical Directors were more concordant on reasoning involving intrinsic patient factors rather than extrinsic factors (10/21 vs 4/24).


Our study demonstrates pediatric transport team dispatch decision-making discordance by pediatric critical care physicians of varying levels of expertise and experience. Script Concordance Testing at a local level may better elucidate standards in medical decision-making within pediatric critical care physicians. The development of a curriculum, which provides education and trains our workforce on the logistics of pediatric transport team dispatch, would help standardize practice and evaluate outcomes based on decision-making.

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