Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Decis Making. 2007 Jul-Aug;27(4):423-37. Epub 2007 Jul 19.

Does concordance with guideline triage recommendations affect clinical care of patients with possible acute coronary syndrome?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, USA.



The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) Unstable Angina Practice Guideline recommends outpatient management for patients at low risk and admission to a monitored bed for patients at intermediate-high risk of adverse short-term outcomes, but the clinical consequences of adhering to these recommendations are unclear.


This analysis included 7466 adults who presented to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms of possible acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and who participated in 3 prospective clinical effectiveness trials during the period 1993 to 2001. The authors used logistic regression to assess the impact of concordance with guideline triage recommendations on subsequent diagnostic testing, follow-up care, and 30-day mortality and applied propensity score methods to adjust for selection bias.


Among low-risk patients (n = 1099), ED discharge was not associated with higher mortality and did not increase the need for emergency care or hospitalization during follow-up (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.63-1.6 for ED revisits); however, 1.7% of discharged low-risk patients had confirmed ACS. Among intermediate- to high-risk patients (n = 6367), admission to a monitored bed was not associated with reduction in 30-day mortality but significantly reduced the need for follow-up ED care (adjusted OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.69-0.96).


This analysis supports the practice of discharging low-risk ED patients with symptoms of possible ACS but highlights the need to arrange timely follow-up (or to perform additional risk stratification in the ED prior to discharge). It also confirms the benefit of admitting ED patients with intermediate- to high-risk characteristics to a monitored bed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center