National inventory of emergency departments in Singapore
1 Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, Neville House, 2nd floor. 75 Francis St, Boston, MA, 02115, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore, 169608, Singapore
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, EMNet Coordinating Center, 326 Cambridge St, Suite 410, Boston, MA, 02114, USA
International Journal of Emergency Medicine 2012, 5:38 doi:10.1186/1865-1380-5-38Published: 31 October 2012
Emergency departments (EDs) are the basic units of emergency care. We performed a national inventory of all Singapore EDs and describe their characteristics and capabilities.
Singapore EDs accessible to the general public 24/7 were surveyed using the National ED Inventories instrument ( http://www.emnet-nedi.org webcite). ED staff members were asked about ED characteristics with reference to calendar year 2007.
Fourteen EDs participated (100% response). All EDs were located in hospitals, and most (92%) were independent departments. One was a psychiatric ED; the rest were general EDs. Among general EDs, all had a contiguous layout, with medical and surgical care provided in one area. All but two EDs saw both adults and children; one ED was adult-only, and the other saw only children. Six were in the public sector and seven in private health-care institutions, with public EDs seeing the majority (78%) of ED patients. Each private ED had an annual patient census of <30,000. These EDs received 2% of ambulances and had an inpatient admission rate of 7%. Each public ED had an annual census of >60,000. They received 98% of ambulances and had an inpatient admission rate of 30%. Two public EDs reported being overcapacity; no private EDs did. For both public and private EDs, availability of consultant resources in EDs was high, while technological resources varied.
Characteristics and capabilities of Singapore EDs varied and were largely dependent on whether they are in public or private hospitals. This initial inventory establishes a benchmark to further monitor the development of emergency care in Singapore.