Factors influencing time-dependent quality indicators for patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome

Daniel J. France, Scott Levin, Ru Ding, Robin Hemphill, Jin Han, Stephan Russ, Dominik Aronsky, Matt Weinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives Rapid risk stratification and timely treatment are critical to favorable outcomes for patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Our objective was to identify patient and system factors that influence time-dependent quality indicators (QIs) for patients with unstable angina/non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) in the emergency department (ED). Methods A retrospective, cohort study was conducted during a 42-month period of all patients 24 years or older suspected of having ACS as defined by receiving an electrocardiogram and at least 1 cardiac biomarker test. Cox regression was used to model the effects of patient characteristics, ancillary service use, staffing provisions, equipment availability, and ED and hospital crowding on ACS QIs. Results Emergency department adherence rates to national standards for electrocardiogram readout time and biomarker turnaround time were 42% and 37%, respectively. Cox regression models revealed that chief complaints without chest pain and the timing of stress testing and medication administration were associated with the most significant delays. Conclusions Patient and system factors both significantly influenced QI times in this cohort with unstable angina/NSTEMI. These results illustrate both the complexity of diagnosing patients with NSTEMI and the competing effects of clinical and system factors on patient flow through the ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1-E10
JournalJournal of patient safety
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • acute coronary syndrome
  • delays
  • emergency department
  • systems engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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