[Evaluation of electrocardiogram's interpretation in the emergency department]

Wahid Bouida, Zohra Dridi, Semir Nouira, Habib Gamra, Mohammed Ben Frahat
La Tunisie M├ędicale 2004, 82 (4): 358-62

UNLABELLED: The aim of this study was to determine the concordance of emergency physicians' and cardiologists' interpretations of emergency department (ED) electrocardiograms (ECG) and to evaluate the impact of ECG misinterpretation on patient management. From December 1993 to April 1994 one hundred ninety five ECG interpretations (3.3% of all consultants) were registered prospectively using a programmed-response data sheet. A second blinded interpretation by a cardiologist was performed and compared with the emergency physicians' interpretations. The overall concordance between emergency physicians' and cardiologist ECG interpretations was observed in 149 (76%) cases (kappa = 0.41). The concordance rate was lower in abnormal ECGs (kappa = 0.19).

CONCLUSION: In our study, the quality of ECG interpretation by ED physicians is satisfactory and the rare misinterpretations have minimal clinical impact.

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