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Conservative Versus Fast Track Rule Out Myocardial Infarction Protocols: A Cost and Length of Stay Comparison with Low Risk Pain Patients in a Military Hospital.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Chest pain patients are traditionally treated in a conservative nature due to the severity of the complications which include death. The majority of the time, this means a coronary care unit admission for the chest pain patient to rule out myocardial infarction, even in patients considered at low risk for myocardial infarction. Over the past several years, hospitals have experienced overcrowding of the coronary care units, often times filled with these low risk chest pain patients. This places a financial burden on the insurers and frequently displaces patients in true need of a coronary care bed. In response to the crisis, hospitals across the country are opening chest pain centers in the emergency department to fast track these low risk patients. There are reports of success, many are a cost-effective alternative to an expensive coronary care admission while decreasing patients length of stay in the hospital. The purpose of this study was to determine 1 what would be the cost benefit of entering patients at low risk for acute myocardial infarction into a fast-track protocol and 2 what would be the benefit in length of stay for the patient entered into a fast-track protocol.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE