- New emergency medicine building to emphasise timely care and expertise to improve patient outcome
- Close proximity to specialised teams and facilities enhances survival and outcome for high acuity conditions
- Operationally ready to support the nation in a health crisis or an emergency
Expected to be ready in 2023, the new Emergency Medicine Building on the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Campus will be equipped with facilities and services to better manage patients with emergency conditions. As the new building has easy access to the expertise of many disciplines, the hospital is able to initiate expedient and coordinated care for its patients.
The facility also strengthens the capabilities at SGH to respond in a national health crisis as part of a concerted campus wide response.
“Our expanded Emergency Department will not only be supplying the hardware to keep up with growing patient numbers, national needs, and our emergency team’s advancements, but also the heart-ware, as we bring together specialists from multiple disciplines,” said Professor Kenneth Kwek, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (Organisational Transformation and Informatics), SingHealth; and Chief Executive Officer, SGH.
“For example, teams from National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) and our Department of Emergency Medicine will be better able to work together to improve patient-centric care pathways for stroke and cardiac treatments for better outcomes and a smooth patient journey.”
The new Emergency Medicine Building is planned to be connected to the main SGH buildings with close access to diagnostic and interventional facilities such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), operating theatres, burns centre, interventional radiology and cardiac cathetherisation suites, acute medical wards and support operations, for fast and effective care.
The current SGH Emergency Department, opened in 1977, has seen more than a two-fold increase in patient attendances from about 64,000 in 1979 to more than 130,000 in 2016. Over the past decade, the age of patients needing emergency medical services at SGH has also increased. In 2017, 34 per cent of SGH emergency patients were aged 65 years or above, up from 25 per cent in 2007. The new SGH Emergency Department is purposefully designed and built to cater to these current and future service demands and medical needs.
Patient-centric Emergency Care
Facilities and treatment methods may evolve, but in planning for the Emergency Department, one key priority remains – patient-centric care that keeps the needs and demands of the patient from arrival to discharge uppermost.
A major consideration in planning the emergency facilities at the new building is to better facilitate and reduce unnecessary patient transfers or movement. The new Emergency Department also focuses on providing more privacy for patients and their families through patient-centric design features such as cubicles in the Critical Care area.
Prepared to Support the Nation in Times of Crisis
SGH will continue to play an important role in responding to a mass casualty incident and the new Emergency Department is prepared when a disaster strikes. The building will include a Hospital Decontamination Station (HDS) to support mass casualty incidents where there may be exposure to hazardous materials.
The HDS will be located on an extended platform linking SGH Block 1 to the new Emergency Medicine Building. This means that casualties can be transferred quickly to the Emergency Department as well as to the operating theatres and Specialist Outpatient Clinics in the main SGH Blocks, for expedited medical care.
Connectivity and Convenience
In addition to being located along the main Jalan Bukit Merah thoroughfare for more direct access, the new building will be designed with above-ground pedestrian and below-ground vehicular connectivity features to better link it with the rest of the Outram Campus.
The Emergency Medicine Building marked its first milestone on Tuesday, 3 April 2018, when Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Health, officiated at its groundbreaking ceremony.
SGH EMERGENCY MEDICINE BUILDING FACTSHEET
Emergency Medicine Building at a glance
The new Emergency Medicine Building is located within the SGH Campus, along the main Jalan Bukit Merah thoroughfare and near transportation nodes such as Outram Park MRT station and the new Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal.
Slated for opening by 2023
As the project is under development, the exact size and planning parameters of the building are still being finalised.
Key facilities of the Emergency Department:
- Triage rooms
- Resuscitation/Trauma Cubicles
- Critical Care Area Cubicles
- Clinical Consultation Rooms
- Observation Cubicles
- Emergency Observation Ward beds
- Isolation Rooms
- Patients/Staff Links for transfer of patients from Emergency Department to main SGH Blocks and new Outram Community Hospital (OCH) building
- Visitor/Public Links for access between SGH, OCH and new Emergency Medicine Building
- Integrated Carpark with connection between Emergency Medicine Building and OCH
- Service Tunnel for delivery of supplies including meals
One-Stop Patient Treatment
- Modelled around patient comfort, more treatment will be administered at the patient’s bedside as experts from multiple disciplines and equipment are brought under one roof to provide coordinated responses.
- Each pair of resuscitation/trauma cubicles will be equipped with a ceiling-mounted x-ray unit to cut down unnecessary patient’s movement. The resuscitation/trauma area will also be equipped with a body cooling unit to manage emergency heat stroke cases.
- Critical Care Area (CCA) cubicles are also designed to handle resuscitation, and the cubicles are designed as a dedicated space bound by walls and sliding doors to provide more patient privacy. This also provides the capability to isolate and lockdown the new emergency department by identified zones when required, to prevent the spread and contamination of high risk infectious diseases to the entire emergency department.
- An enhanced “fever” area with isolation rooms will also be located at the emergency department. Capable of managing infectious diseases, the area will treat high risk patients that require isolation allowing the rest of the department to remain operational.
Acute Medical Wards
Acute Medical Wards (AMWs) located within the new building aim to improve efficiency and streamline the inpatient care services for patients by providing both timely and holistic care upfront in the patient journey. By doing so, patients’ overall length of stay in the hospital will be optimised with earlier definitive care, particularly for patients presenting with multiple comorbidities or nonspecific presentations. Close proximity to the Emergency Department (ED) facilitates expedited transfers of patients from ED and allow synergistic delivery of patient centric care at the short-stay ward.
Currently, the Acute Medical Ward at SGH receives about 20 to 25 patients per day from the Emergency Department. Half of the patients seen at the ward are over 70 years old and have various conditions, the most common being Pneumonia and Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI), Cellulitis and skin soft tissue infection (SSTI) and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
Prepared for Mass Casualty
The Hospital Decontamination Station will comprise washing bays for the decontamination of casualties. It will be located on the expanded and extended platform linking SGH Block 1 to the new Emergency Medicine Building. Close proximity to the new Emergency Department will allow quick access to the treatment areas as well as to operating theatres and Specialist Outpatient Clinics in main SGH Blocks, so that casualties will be able to receive expedited medical care.