Mrs. Smith receives an EKG, CT scan of the head, a chest x-ray and multiple lab tests that reveal she has had a myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack. A cardiologist is consulted with and it is determined that she has a “stable” MI and she will be admitted for observation and further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

The patient will remain in the Emergency department until the ER MD is reasonably sure they know what the diagnosis is and the patient is stable. If the patient does not need to be admitted for treatment, they will be discharged; if there is a need and the hospital has the ability to treat the diagnosis, the patient will be admitted into the hospital; if the hospital does not have the ability to treat the patient then they will be transferred to another hospital. EMTALA laws apply to any transfer and that is another topic we covered in February of last year. You can see that newsletter/blog post here.

Mrs. Smith remains in the hospital for 2 days and then is discharged home with instructions to follow up with her cardiologist. She is educated on lifestyle changes that need to be made and any new medications she will be taking.


This month’s civil topic is “911 to ER – Pathway of Care.”  Topics covered are:

  • Case Scenario (7/7/14)
  • Emergency Medical Services  (7/14/14)
  • Emergency Department (7/21/14)
  • Discharge (7/28/14)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here.

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