Ischemic heart disease is the major cause of death, disability and lost productivity in the developed countries of the world. The evolution of cardiac care units has improved patient survival from myocardial infarctions, but requires a high-tech, very expensive treatment facility. Chest pain centers, located in emergency departments, present an efficient alternative to triage patients with chest pain, providing prompt and accurate diagnosis, risk evaluation and appropriate treatments. Hospitals benefit from this cost-effective approach as resources are used more efficiently, and patients benefit from a supportive treatment facility that focuses on early intervention. Early recognition of prodromal unstable angina symptoms and intercession with newly developed treatment can help move the cardiologist toward a more proactive role that minimizes or avoids myocardial infarctions rather than reacting to the acute event.