Cardiology consultation reduces provocative testing rates in an ED observation unit.

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Cardiology consultation reduces provocative testing rates in an ED observation unit.

Am J Emerg Med. 2017 Jan;35(1):25-28

Authors: Madsen T, Smyres C, Wood T, Moores T, Fuller M, Davis V, Bernhisel K

BACKGROUND: In evaluating patients with chest pain, emergency department observation units (EDOUs) may use a staffing model in which emergency physicians determine patient testing (EP model) or a model similar to a chest pain unit (CPU) in which cardiologists determine provocative testing (CPU model).
METHODS: We performed a prospective study with 30-day telephone follow-up for all chest pain patients placed in our EDOU. Halfway through the study period, our EDOU transitioned from an EP model to a CPU model. We compared provocative testing rates and outcomes between the 2 models.
RESULTS: Over the 34-month study period, our EDOU evaluated 1190 patients for chest pain. Patients placed in the EDOU during the 17-month CPU model were more likely to be moderate risk (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction score 3-5) than those during the 17-month EP model: 24.9% vs 18.8%, P = .011. Despite this difference, rates of provocative testing (stress testing or coronary computed tomography) were lower during the CPU model: 47.1% vs 56.5%, P = .001. This reduction was particularly evident among low-risk patients (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction score 0-2): 49.8% vs 58.1%, P = .011. Rates of myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary artery bypass graft were similar between the 2 groups (2.8% vs 3.2%, P = .140). We noted no significant events or missed diagnoses in either group during the 30-day follow-up.
CONCLUSION: An EDOU model that used mandatory cardiology consultation resulted in decreased provocative testing, particularly among low-risk chest pain patients. Future research should explore the cost-effectiveness of this model.

PMID: 27687049 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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