Variable diagnostic accuracy in reading ECGs in a nurse-led primary PCI pathway

G. Aleong, Raymond Bond, Dewar Finlay, Aaron Peace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The electrocardiogram (ECG) remains as the crucial tool to diagnose acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Activation of the cardiac catheterization team to perform primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) largely depends on the interpretation of the ECG at the time of first medical contact with the patient. In Northern Ireland, if the referrer decides that the ECG shows a STEMI they would then transmit the ECG to a designated coronary care nurse who then decides whether to activate the PPCI pathway or to transfer the patient to the nearest emergency department (ED).ObjectiveWe sought to ascertain the impact, ECG based decisions has on the PPCI pathway and specifically on clinical outcomes.MethodsECG and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed for consecutive patients referred to the PPCI pathway over an 8-month period as part of a continuous audit. Patients were either accepted or turned down for PPCI by the nurse. All ECGs were retrospectively adjudicated upon with a final diagnosis made by a senior coronary care nurse and interventional cardiologist. ECG interpretation was evaluated in the referrer group, the machine, and the nurse activator.ResultsA total of 366 patients were referred to the PPCI pathway over the 8-month period. 118 (32%) were accepted for PPCI. All accepted patients met diagnostic ECG criteria with 100/118 (85%) having a final diagnosis of STEMI. 244 referrals (68%) were turned down for PPCI, predominantly on the basis of lack of diagnostic criteria. All turndowns were considered appropriate. Paramedics were the main referrers 218/361 (60%) with the remainder from ED. The ECG machine suggested an ischemic diagnosis in 95/99 (Sensitivity = 96%) of patients with STEMI and 178/244 (1-Specificity = 73%, Specificity = 27%) of the turndown cases. Of those referred for PPCI, 66% of the ED referrals were turned down. Of those referred by paramedics for PPCI 68% were turned down. The STEMI group were significantly younger that the turndown group (63 ± 12 vs. 68 ± 16, p = 0.0021) with higher mortality in the turndown group at 12 months 17.4% vs. 10.2% No STEMIs were missed.ConclusionsECG interpretation by referrers in this nurse-led primary PCI pathway is sub-optimal. The high rate of false positives in ECG machine diagnoses in the turndown group could be an influencing factor in the human-decision making. There is a need to find ways to improve ECG interpretation particularly in a time critical PPCI pathway.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherElsevier
Pages864
Number of pages1
Volume50
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2017
EventInternational Society for Computerised Electrocardiology - St. Simons Island
Duration: 16 Nov 2017 → …

Conference

ConferenceInternational Society for Computerised Electrocardiology
Period16/11/17 → …

Fingerprint

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Reading
Electrocardiography
Nurses
Hospital Emergency Service
Allied Health Personnel
Referral and Consultation
Patient Transfer
Northern Ireland
Cardiac Catheterization
ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction
Decision Making
Mortality

Keywords

  • ECG
  • medical informatics
  • cardiology
  • smartphones
  • mobile technology
  • heart attacks
  • STEMI

Cite this

Aleong, G. ; Bond, Raymond ; Finlay, Dewar ; Peace, Aaron. / Variable diagnostic accuracy in reading ECGs in a nurse-led primary PCI pathway. Unknown Host Publication. Vol. 50 Elsevier, 2017. pp. 864
@inproceedings{5e231cdaae434f27b45b02c822bc65ed,
title = "Variable diagnostic accuracy in reading ECGs in a nurse-led primary PCI pathway",
abstract = "The electrocardiogram (ECG) remains as the crucial tool to diagnose acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Activation of the cardiac catheterization team to perform primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) largely depends on the interpretation of the ECG at the time of first medical contact with the patient. In Northern Ireland, if the referrer decides that the ECG shows a STEMI they would then transmit the ECG to a designated coronary care nurse who then decides whether to activate the PPCI pathway or to transfer the patient to the nearest emergency department (ED).ObjectiveWe sought to ascertain the impact, ECG based decisions has on the PPCI pathway and specifically on clinical outcomes.MethodsECG and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed for consecutive patients referred to the PPCI pathway over an 8-month period as part of a continuous audit. Patients were either accepted or turned down for PPCI by the nurse. All ECGs were retrospectively adjudicated upon with a final diagnosis made by a senior coronary care nurse and interventional cardiologist. ECG interpretation was evaluated in the referrer group, the machine, and the nurse activator.ResultsA total of 366 patients were referred to the PPCI pathway over the 8-month period. 118 (32{\%}) were accepted for PPCI. All accepted patients met diagnostic ECG criteria with 100/118 (85{\%}) having a final diagnosis of STEMI. 244 referrals (68{\%}) were turned down for PPCI, predominantly on the basis of lack of diagnostic criteria. All turndowns were considered appropriate. Paramedics were the main referrers 218/361 (60{\%}) with the remainder from ED. The ECG machine suggested an ischemic diagnosis in 95/99 (Sensitivity = 96{\%}) of patients with STEMI and 178/244 (1-Specificity = 73{\%}, Specificity = 27{\%}) of the turndown cases. Of those referred for PPCI, 66{\%} of the ED referrals were turned down. Of those referred by paramedics for PPCI 68{\%} were turned down. The STEMI group were significantly younger that the turndown group (63 ± 12 vs. 68 ± 16, p = 0.0021) with higher mortality in the turndown group at 12 months 17.4{\%} vs. 10.2{\%} No STEMIs were missed.ConclusionsECG interpretation by referrers in this nurse-led primary PCI pathway is sub-optimal. The high rate of false positives in ECG machine diagnoses in the turndown group could be an influencing factor in the human-decision making. There is a need to find ways to improve ECG interpretation particularly in a time critical PPCI pathway.",
keywords = "ECG, medical informatics, cardiology, smartphones, mobile technology, heart attacks, STEMI",
author = "G. Aleong and Raymond Bond and Dewar Finlay and Aaron Peace",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "16",
doi = "10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2017.08.058",
language = "English",
volume = "50",
pages = "864",
booktitle = "Unknown Host Publication",
publisher = "Elsevier",
address = "Netherlands",

}

Aleong, G, Bond, R, Finlay, D & Peace, A 2017, Variable diagnostic accuracy in reading ECGs in a nurse-led primary PCI pathway. in Unknown Host Publication. vol. 50, Elsevier, pp. 864, International Society for Computerised Electrocardiology, 16/11/17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2017.08.058

Variable diagnostic accuracy in reading ECGs in a nurse-led primary PCI pathway. / Aleong, G.; Bond, Raymond; Finlay, Dewar; Peace, Aaron.

Unknown Host Publication. Vol. 50 Elsevier, 2017. p. 864.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Variable diagnostic accuracy in reading ECGs in a nurse-led primary PCI pathway

AU - Aleong, G.

AU - Bond, Raymond

AU - Finlay, Dewar

AU - Peace, Aaron

PY - 2017/11/16

Y1 - 2017/11/16

N2 - The electrocardiogram (ECG) remains as the crucial tool to diagnose acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Activation of the cardiac catheterization team to perform primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) largely depends on the interpretation of the ECG at the time of first medical contact with the patient. In Northern Ireland, if the referrer decides that the ECG shows a STEMI they would then transmit the ECG to a designated coronary care nurse who then decides whether to activate the PPCI pathway or to transfer the patient to the nearest emergency department (ED).ObjectiveWe sought to ascertain the impact, ECG based decisions has on the PPCI pathway and specifically on clinical outcomes.MethodsECG and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed for consecutive patients referred to the PPCI pathway over an 8-month period as part of a continuous audit. Patients were either accepted or turned down for PPCI by the nurse. All ECGs were retrospectively adjudicated upon with a final diagnosis made by a senior coronary care nurse and interventional cardiologist. ECG interpretation was evaluated in the referrer group, the machine, and the nurse activator.ResultsA total of 366 patients were referred to the PPCI pathway over the 8-month period. 118 (32%) were accepted for PPCI. All accepted patients met diagnostic ECG criteria with 100/118 (85%) having a final diagnosis of STEMI. 244 referrals (68%) were turned down for PPCI, predominantly on the basis of lack of diagnostic criteria. All turndowns were considered appropriate. Paramedics were the main referrers 218/361 (60%) with the remainder from ED. The ECG machine suggested an ischemic diagnosis in 95/99 (Sensitivity = 96%) of patients with STEMI and 178/244 (1-Specificity = 73%, Specificity = 27%) of the turndown cases. Of those referred for PPCI, 66% of the ED referrals were turned down. Of those referred by paramedics for PPCI 68% were turned down. The STEMI group were significantly younger that the turndown group (63 ± 12 vs. 68 ± 16, p = 0.0021) with higher mortality in the turndown group at 12 months 17.4% vs. 10.2% No STEMIs were missed.ConclusionsECG interpretation by referrers in this nurse-led primary PCI pathway is sub-optimal. The high rate of false positives in ECG machine diagnoses in the turndown group could be an influencing factor in the human-decision making. There is a need to find ways to improve ECG interpretation particularly in a time critical PPCI pathway.

AB - The electrocardiogram (ECG) remains as the crucial tool to diagnose acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Activation of the cardiac catheterization team to perform primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) largely depends on the interpretation of the ECG at the time of first medical contact with the patient. In Northern Ireland, if the referrer decides that the ECG shows a STEMI they would then transmit the ECG to a designated coronary care nurse who then decides whether to activate the PPCI pathway or to transfer the patient to the nearest emergency department (ED).ObjectiveWe sought to ascertain the impact, ECG based decisions has on the PPCI pathway and specifically on clinical outcomes.MethodsECG and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed for consecutive patients referred to the PPCI pathway over an 8-month period as part of a continuous audit. Patients were either accepted or turned down for PPCI by the nurse. All ECGs were retrospectively adjudicated upon with a final diagnosis made by a senior coronary care nurse and interventional cardiologist. ECG interpretation was evaluated in the referrer group, the machine, and the nurse activator.ResultsA total of 366 patients were referred to the PPCI pathway over the 8-month period. 118 (32%) were accepted for PPCI. All accepted patients met diagnostic ECG criteria with 100/118 (85%) having a final diagnosis of STEMI. 244 referrals (68%) were turned down for PPCI, predominantly on the basis of lack of diagnostic criteria. All turndowns were considered appropriate. Paramedics were the main referrers 218/361 (60%) with the remainder from ED. The ECG machine suggested an ischemic diagnosis in 95/99 (Sensitivity = 96%) of patients with STEMI and 178/244 (1-Specificity = 73%, Specificity = 27%) of the turndown cases. Of those referred for PPCI, 66% of the ED referrals were turned down. Of those referred by paramedics for PPCI 68% were turned down. The STEMI group were significantly younger that the turndown group (63 ± 12 vs. 68 ± 16, p = 0.0021) with higher mortality in the turndown group at 12 months 17.4% vs. 10.2% No STEMIs were missed.ConclusionsECG interpretation by referrers in this nurse-led primary PCI pathway is sub-optimal. The high rate of false positives in ECG machine diagnoses in the turndown group could be an influencing factor in the human-decision making. There is a need to find ways to improve ECG interpretation particularly in a time critical PPCI pathway.

KW - ECG

KW - medical informatics

KW - cardiology

KW - smartphones

KW - mobile technology

KW - heart attacks

KW - STEMI

U2 - 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2017.08.058

DO - 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2017.08.058

M3 - Conference contribution

VL - 50

SP - 864

BT - Unknown Host Publication

PB - Elsevier

ER -