Podcast 649: Normal Triage EKGs


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By medicalminute and Emergency Medical Minute. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Contributor: Samuel Killian, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Anecdotally, when the computer reads a triage EKG as normal it is most often normal
  • One study tested this theory by examining 855 computer-read EKGS (222 of which were read as normal)
  • Two cardiologists reviewed these 222 normal EKGs and only found 13 EKGs that were slightly abnormal with nonspecific abnormalities
  • Two EM physicians then reviewed these EKGs and only one physician on one EKG said they would change the patient’s course of care by rooming them faster
  • The study may support eliminating physician review of normal triage EKGs as a safe practice that would decrease physician interruption


Hughes KE, Lewis SM, Katz L, Jones J. Safety of Computer Interpretation of Normal Triage Electrocardiograms. Acad Emerg Med. 2017 Jan;24(1):120-124. doi: 10.1111/acem.13067. PMID: 27519772.

Summarized by John Spartz, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

810 episodes