Implementation of High-Sensitivity Troponin with a Rapid Diagnostic Algorithm Reduces Emergency Department Length of Stay for Discharged Patients

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Biochem. 2023 Apr 11:S0009-9120(23)00075-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2023.04.003. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: High sensitivity troponin (hs-cTn) and diagnostic algorithms are used to rapidly triage patients with symptoms of acute myocardial infarction in emergency departments (ED). However, few studies have evaluated the impact of simultaneously implementing hs-cTn and a rapid rule-out algorithm on length of stay (LOS).

METHODS: We assessed the impact of transitioning from contemporary cTnI to hs-cTnI in 59,232 ED encounters over three years. hs-cTnI was implemented with an orderable series that included baseline, two-, four-, and six-hour specimens collected at provider discretion and operationalized with an algorithm to calculate the change in hs-cTnI from baseline and provide interpretations of "insignificant", "significant," or "equivocal." Patient demographics, results, chief complaint, disposition, and ED LOS were captured from the electronic medical record.

RESULTS: cTnI was ordered for 31,875 encounters prior to hs-cTnI implementation and 27,357 after. The proportion of cTnI results above the 99th percentile upper reference limit decreased from 35.0% to 27.0% for men and increased from 27.8% to 34.8% for women. Among discharged patients, the median LOS decreased by 0.6 h (0.5-0.7). LOS among discharged patients with a chief complaint of chest pain decreased by 1.0 h (0.8-1.1) and further decreased by 1.2 h (1.0-1.3) if the initial hs-cTnI was below the limit of quantitation. The rate of acute coronary syndrome upon re-presentation within 30 days did not change post-implementation (0.10% versus 0.07%).

CONCLUSION: Implementation of an hs-cTnI assay with a rapid rule-out algorithm decreased ED LOS among discharged patients, particularly among those with a chief complaint of chest pain.

PMID:37054770 | DOI:10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2023.04.003

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