Current care patterns for patients with acute chest pain fail to provide optimal quality and value. To avoid missing acute
coronary syndrome (ACS), emergency physicians hospitalize >50% of patients who present to the Emergency Department with
chest pain. However, <10% are ultimately diagnosed with ACS, and this pervasive overtriage
The HEART Pathway, which was developed at Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH), is designed to improve care for patients with
chest pain. It uses a validated clinical decision aid and serial troponin measures to provide realtime
decision support to providers.
In our prior studies, the HEART Pathway decreased hospitalizations, stress testing, and hospital length of stay, without
increasing adverse events. These studies led to a learning health system project in collaboration with insurers, in which the
HEART Pathway was fully integrated into the WFBH EHR. Preliminary results demonstrate further reductions in hospitalizations
and stress testing. Given WFBH?s success with the HEART Pathway, the next logical step is regional dissemination.
This project will leverage Carolinas Collaborative infrastructure to collect data specific to the HEART Pathway from all 4 health
systems, establishing rates of healthcare utilization and ACS outcomes for Emergency Department patients with chest pain in
the Carolinas. In addition, we will engage key stakeholders at each health system to develop an implementation strategy. This
proposal builds on our prior work and will provide pilot data essential for a larger grant application that will support rigorous
testing and implementation of the HEART Pathway across Carolinas Collaborative health systems.