Heart, Lung and Circulation
Original Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 2, P147-153, February 2018

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Phone Based Care Coordination Pilot on Hospital Utilisation and Costs for Patients With Chest Pain

Published:April 19, 2017DOI:


      A small percentage of the population represents a disproportionate number of attendances at emergency departments (ED). “Frequent presenters” to ED with chest pain do not always fit into established pathways for acute myocardial events. With accelerated “rule out” protocols, patients are often discharged from the ED after short lengths of stay. This research will evaluate the effectiveness of a phone based care-coordination pilot designed to meet the needs of patients attending ED with cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain.


      A longitudinal, single-arm interventional study with retrospectively recruited control group. Ninety-five patients were enrolled as the intervention group; 97 patients were retrospectively identified as controls. These patients had re-presented with chest pain within 6 months of a cardiac event, or attended hospital within 12 months two or more times with chest pain and/or complex needs. Intervention group patients were holistically assessed then phone-coached to support self-management of chest pain over 6 months. Following descriptive and univariate analysis, multivariate analysis was conducted to adjust for noted differences between the intervention and control groups.


      Thirty-day representation to ED was significantly less for the intervention group (14.1%) compared to controls (27.7%). After adjusting for baseline differences, intervention patients were more than two-fold less likely to re-present compared to controls (OR = 0.42, 95%CI: 0.19–0.96). After adjustment for baseline differences, the savings in subsequent inpatient costs was $1588 per person, as a result of intervention, patients were less likely to have inpatient readmissions (16.3%) compared to controls (20.2%), although this was not statistically significant (p = 0.588).


      A phone based care-coordination pilot with targeted interventions has the potential to reduce ED presentations and hospital readmissions among patients representing with chest pain.


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