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Ann Emerg Med. 1994 Feb;23(2):334-41.

The chest pain emergency department and the outpatient chest pain evaluation center: revolution or evolution?

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To define the chest pain emergency department and the outpatient chest pain evaluation center, and to critically analyze the costs and benefits of modifying or replacing the current system of hospital-based evaluation of chest pain patients with these new systems.

DATA SOURCES:

Peer-reviewed articles, published letters, book chapters, national health statistics, and personal communications were used. Sources were limited to those describing experiences in the United States.

STUDY SELECTION:

Relevant sources from the United States were reviewed.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

The widespread adoption of the chest pain ED as currently configured would result in increased health care expenditures of between $389 million and $3.9 billion. It is estimated that this expenditure might save a maximum of 1,029 additional lives per year, at a cost of between $378,000 and $3.78 million per life saved.

CONCLUSION:

Current hospital-based systems for evaluating patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of acute ischemic heart disease need improvement. Modification of the system of initial patient evaluation should occur as an evolutionary change to the current ED system. Adoption of a formal system of chest pain EDs represents an inefficient use of resources. Design and implementation of patient education programs about ischemic heart disease should be a public sector responsibility. More research is needed before the proper role of the outpatient chest pain evaluation center can be evaluated.

PMID:
8304615
DOI:
10.1016/s0196-0644(94)70047-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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