Policies,Clinical,UW Health Clinical,General Care and Procedures,Procedures

Mode of Patient Transport (2.3.18)

Mode of Patient Transport (2.3.18) - Policies, Clinical, UW Health Clinical, General Care and Procedures, Procedures


Policy Title: Mode of Patient Transport
Policy Number: 2.3.18
Category: UW Health
Type: Inpatient
Effective Date: February 27, 2017


To establish a safe, efficient, and consistent process for determining and utilizing the appropriate mode of
transport of patients for travel between departments. This will be done by decreasing the use of beds for
transporting patients. Transporting by other modes of transport besides bed allows patients to get the
mobility known to be beneficial in recovery. Moving patients by bed has been found to lead to staff injuries,
decrease efficiency in transport, and cause costly damages to the facilities and the beds themselves. This
excludes patients coming directly to or from the operating room.


A. Mode of transport is the equipment in which the patient travels (e.g., Wheelchair, stretcher, bed, cardiac
chair, etc.).
B. Patient will be moved in the mode of transport that the staff of the patient’s current location agrees on with
staff of the destination location.
C. Patient mobility, patient health, and specific requirements of receiving location are key factors in mode of
transport determination.
D. Patients will not be moved by bed unless patient meets critical care requirements. For example:
i. ICU level of care
ii. STAT or emergent scan/transfers
iii. Traction
iv. General care patients in specialized beds
v. Any test that requires patient to come by bed


A. Once it is determined a patient needs to be transported, the destination will call the patient’s current location
during which:
i. The destination will alert the patient’s current location of the scheduled appointment
ii. The mode of transport will be determined
iii. Needed staff to assist (e.g., S.O.S.) will be determined
iv. The patient’s current location will let the destination know if the mode of transport is required to be
brought to the pickup destination, and this information will be included in the transport request.
v. The patient’s current location will inform the destination of any extra circumstances involving the
transport of patient (e.g., patient is high fall risk and needs assistance; patient requires suction,
have nurse transfer to portable suction; etc.)
vi. Extra equipment needed will be determined and this information will be noted in transport request.
B. The nursing staff at the origin location will determine what mode of transport to use based on the following:
i. Patient health
ii. Patient mobility
iii. Receiving location capability
iv. Receiving location procedure
v. Equipment availability
vi. Accompanying equipment
C. If a patient is being transported by bed, a member of the nursing staff must accompany the transporter.
D. Nursing staff will help all patients that need assistance when getting into transport equipment. Patient
Transport staff is not permitted to assist in patient transfers.


Author: Director, Nursing Operations Support
Senior Management Sponsor: VP, Associate CNO
Reviewers: Supervisor, Patient Transport; CNS, Nursing Quality and Safety; Nursing Coordinator –
Inpatient, Nursing Operations Support

Policy Title: Mode of Patient Transport
Policy Number: 2.3.18

Approval committees: UW Health Clinical Policy Committee
UW Health Clinical Policy Committee Approval: January 23, 2017

UW Health is a cohesive, united and integrated academic medical enterprise comprised of several entities.
This policy applies to facilities and programs operated by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
and the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Inc., and to clinical facilities and programs
administered by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Each entity is
responsible for enforcement of this policy in relation to the facilities and programs that it operates.


Peter Newcomer, MD
Chief Clinical Officer

J. Scott McMurray, MD
Chair, UW Health Clinical Policy Committee


Nursing Guide to Radiology Procedures
Off Unit Transport


Version: Original
Next Revision Due: February 2020