Safe and rapid disposition of low-to-intermediate risk patients presenting to the emergency department with chest pain: a 1-year high-volume single-center experience.
J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2014 Sep-Oct;8(5):375-83
Authors: Jones RL, Thomas DM, Barnwell ML, Fentanes E, Young AN, Barnwell R, Foley AT, Hilliard M, Hulten EA, Villines TC, Cury RC, Slim AM
BACKGROUND: Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is a powerful tool for the evaluation of chest pain in the emergency department (ED). Some debate persists regarding its cost-effectiveness in a low-to-intermediate risk population.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to evaluate the safety and cost-effectiveness of coronary CTA for low-to-intermediate risk patients presenting to the ED with chest pain in a closed-loop referral system.
METHODS: Chest pain patients were evaluated in the ED via a local rapid coronary CTA protocol and tracked prospectively for ED throughput, disposition, chest pain recidivism, and cost utilization as compared with an age-matched cohort evaluated for chest pain treated with usual care.
RESULTS: One hundred eighty-three patients underwent the rapid coronary CTA protocol compared with an age-matched cohort of 184 patients treated with usual care. The median follow-up period for major adverse cardiovascular events in the coronary CTA group was 9.0 months (range, 1.8-14.5 months) and 11.1 months (range, 0-14.0 months) for the age-matched cohort. The median ED length of stay (LOS) was 5.8 hours (range, 2.6-12.3 hours) for the rapid coronary CTA cohort and 12.2 hours (range, 1.7-40.3 hours) for the age-matched cohort (P < .001). The median time to performance of coronary CTA was 2.5 hours (range, 0.4-8.7 hours) with a median time from coronary CTA performance to disposition of 2.9 hours (range, 0.8-8.6 hours). Total median hospital LOS was 5.9 hours (range, 2.7-124 hours) in the rapid coronary CTA cohort compared with 25.0 hours (range, 1.2-208 hours) in the age-matched cohort (P < .001). Hospital admission was more common in the age-matched cohort (98.9% vs 9.3%; P < .001). There was a significant reduction in total payer cost in coronary CTA group when compared to usual care ($182,064.55 vs $685,190.77; P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: Coronary CTA for ED risk stratification and disposition within a closed referral system resulted in the shortest ED LOS published to date while being safe and cost-effective.
PMID: 25301043 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]