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Does the physician in triage strategy improve door-to-balloon time for patients with STEMI?


Background The physician in triage (PIT) strategy was implemented in the emergency department (ED) of the Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC) to improve overcrowding and waiting time. Our objective in the current study was to assess the impact of the PIT strategy on door-to-balloon time for the treatment of acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Methods The PIT programme began on January 2016, working weekdays between 8:00 and 23:00 hours. We included patients who visited the ED and were diagnosed with STEMI, from November 2014 to February 2018. The primary outcome was improvement in door-to-balloon (D2B) time <90 min between the preintervention and postintervention period. The analysis included a comparison between the two time periods using univariate tests, a time trend analysis illustrated by the locally weighted scatterplot smoothing curves and a regression analysis using generalised estimating equation models. To determine the impact of the PIT, as opposed to other changes in the department, we stratified the population arriving after January 2016 to patients arriving during PIT hours versus patients arriving on weekends and at nights (23:00–8:00 hours).

Results In all, 415 patients met all the inclusion criteria of which 237 (57.1%) visited on weekdays 8:00–23:00 hours. The per cent of patients with D2B <90 min was 13.9% higher for postintervention versus preintervention visits (p=0.006). D2B time was significantly shorter by 9 min for postintervention visits (p=0.001). In the postintervention period, patients arriving between 8:00 and 23:00 hours on weekdays were more likely to have D2B <90 min than those arriving nights and weekends; 90/146 (61.6%) vs 47.2% (51/108), respectively, p=0.02. ORs for D2B <90 min was 2.04 (95% CI 1.06 to 3.91) for weekday visits, and 1.90 (0.88 to 4.12) for weekend and night visits.

Conclusion The PIT model in SUMC is associated with D2B reduction for patients with STEMI. To achieve further reduction, both targeted interventions should be performed and PIT strategy should be applied for full time, including nights and weekends.

  • emergency care systems, efficiency
  • emergency care systems, emergency departments
  • cardiac care, acute coronary syndrome
  • management, emergency department management
  • quality improvement

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