Triage and diagnosis of chest pain in rural hospitals: Implementation of the ACI-TIPI in the High Plains Research Network

Journal Name: 
Ann Fam Med
Van Vorst,R.
PURPOSE: The Acute Cardiac Ischemia Time-Insensitive Predictive Instrument (ACI-TIPI) has been shown to improve diagnostic accuracy of acute cardiac ischemia (ACI) and decrease coronary care unit admissions in urban emergency departments. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the ACI-TIPI on triage and diagnosis of patients with chest pain in rural hospitals. METHODS: We undertook a controlled trial of the impact ACI-TIPI use in the High Plains Research Network (HPRN). Main outcome measures were the triage of patients in emergency departments (admission, transfer, or discharge home) and diagnostic accuracy. RESULTS: There were 1,861 patients seen during a 10-month period. Forty-five percent of all patients complaining of chest pain were discharged home from the emergency department. Eight percent were transferred from the emergency department, and another 10% were transferred later after admission. Among patients with acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina, 22.2% were transferred directly from the emergency department and only 3% were discharged home when ACI-TIPI was available, compared with 18.7% transferred and 5.2% discharged home when not available (P = .4). Diagnostic accuracy was high and not statistically different with the addition of the ACI-TIPI score (86.8% ACI-TIPI off vs 89.0% ACI-TIPI on, P = .15), CONCLUSIONS: Physicians in the HPRN provided appropriate diagnosis and triage to patients with chest pain. Routine addition of the ACI-TIPI score did not improve diagnostic accuracy or significantly change triage. Further research on ACI-TIPI in rural hospitals is necessary before recommending routine use of the ACI-TIPI.
admission, CapAd, Diagnosis, diagnostic, Emergencies, hospital, HPRN, Methods, Myocardial Infarction, Pain, patient, Patients, Physicians, Research