Skip to main content

This was an innovation project supported by the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.

Lead organisation

SCV Emergency Care Clinical Network (ECCN)


18 emergency departments:

  • Albury Base Hospital
  • Angliss Hospital
  • Austin Hospital
  • Bairnsdale Hospital
  • Bass Coast Hospital
  • Bendigo Health Service
  • Box Hill Hospital
  • Footscray Hospital
  • Frankston Hospital
  • Goulburn Valley Base Hospital
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Southwest Healthcare (Warrnambool)
  • St John of God Hospital
  • St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Sunshine Hospital
  • The Northern Hospital
  • University Hospital Geelong
  • Werribee Mercy Hospital


Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a term used to describe a range of urgent conditions associated with sudden reduced blood flow to the heart. The most common conditions are heart attack and angina. It is vital to rule out life-threatening causes and provide timely treatment for these conditions.

In 2016, at the time of the project, approximately 2 per cent of Victorian emergency department (ED) admissions (42,000 patients) were for suspected ACS or chest pain.

Building on its previous work, Safer Care Victoria’s ECCN implemented and embedded a shorter, evidence-based process known as an ‘accelerated diagnostic pathway’ (ADP) to more efficiently assess patients for ACS in a number of emergency departments, reducing patients’ anxiety and their time in hospital.


  • Reduce variation in practice and ensure evidence-based processes by more broadly implementing ADP processes for chest patients in EDs
  • Reduce length of stay (LOS) for patients who are eligible for an ADP assessment to release ED capacity


  • Reduced anxiety and inconvenience for patients by using an ADP approach to rule out ACS faster
  • Reduced variation in practice and ensured the process of ruling out ACS was evidence-based
  • Saved 20 minutes and released an estimated capacity of 472 patients in EDs implementing an ADP for the first time
  • Increased the proportion of eligible patients assessed using an ADP from 22 per cent to 68 per cent in sites that completed ADP implementation
  • Reduced the median LOS by between 15 and 83 minutes in almost all implementation sites


December 2020 – The health services who participated in this project continue to use the ADP to provide a better experience for patients. 

Project summary

Was this content helpful to you?