Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2552-1
Title: Mapping infectious disease hospital surge threats to lessons learnt in Singapore: a systems analysis and development of a framework to inform how to DECIDE on planning and response strategies
Authors: Singh, Shweta R 
Coker, Richard 
Vrijhoef, Hubertus J-M 
Leo, Yee Sin 
Chow, Angela 
Lim, Poh Lian 
Tan, Qinghui
Chen, Mark I-Cheng 
Hildon, Zoe Jane-Lara 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Infectious disease outbreaks
Surge capacity and capability
Health planning and implementation
HEALTH-CARE WORKERS
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
SARS
CAPACITY
PROFESSIONALS
OUTBREAKS
IMPACT
Issue Date: 4-Sep-2017
Publisher: BIOMED CENTRAL LTD
Citation: Singh, Shweta R, Coker, Richard, Vrijhoef, Hubertus J-M, Leo, Yee Sin, Chow, Angela, Lim, Poh Lian, Tan, Qinghui, Chen, Mark I-Cheng, Hildon, Zoe Jane-Lara (2017-09-04). Mapping infectious disease hospital surge threats to lessons learnt in Singapore: a systems analysis and development of a framework to inform how to DECIDE on planning and response strategies. BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH 17 (1). ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2552-1
Abstract: © 2017 The Author(s). Background: Hospital usage and service demand during an Infectious Disease (ID) outbreak can tax the health system in different ways. Herein we conceptualize hospital surge elements, and lessons learnt from such events, to help build appropriately matched responses to future ID surge threats. Methods: We used the Interpretive Descriptive qualitative approach. Interviews (n = 35) were conducted with governance and public health specialists; hospital based staff; and General Practitioners. Key policy literature in tandem with the interview data were used to iteratively generate a Hospital ID Surge framework. We anchored our narrative account within this framework, which is used to structure our analysis. Results: A spectrum of surge threats from combinations of capacity (for crowding) and capability (for treatment complexity) demands were identified. Starting with the Pyramid scenario, or an influx of high screening rates flooding Emergency Departments, alongside fewer and manageable admissions; the Reverse-Pyramid occurs when few cases are screened and admitted but those that are, are complex; during a 'Black' scenario, the system is overburdened by both crowding and complexity. The Singapore hospital system is highly adapted to crowding, functioning remarkably well at constant near-full capacity in Peacetime and resilient to Endemic surges. We catalogue 26 strategies from lessons learnt relating to staffing, space, supplies and systems, crystalizing institutional memory. The DECIDE model advocates linking these strategies to types of surge threats and offers a step-by-step guide for coordinating outbreak planning and response. Conclusions: Lack of a shared definition and decision making of surge threats had rendered the procedures somewhat duplicative. This burden was paradoxically exacerbated by a health system that highly prizes planning and forward thinking, but worked largely in silo until an ID crisis hit. Many such lessons can be put into play to further strengthen our current hospital governance and adapted to more diverse settings.
Source Title: BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/167184
ISSN: 1472-6963
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-017-2552-1
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