Singapore develops national database of hospital ICUs for better patient care

SINGAPORE - A national database of hospital intensive care units (ICU) here will be developed to better understand and manage patients who are critically ill.

Announcing this at the opening of the 3rd SG-ANZICS Intensive Care Forum at Suntec City on Friday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said such a database should lead to better care, improve capacity planning and optimise resources used.

Mr Gan told the gathering of intensive care specialists from Singapore, Australia and New Zealand: "We need the best people with the appropriate ICU facilities to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients."

Singapore already has outcomes that compare favourably with other developed countries, he noted.

But aside from providing ICU staff with continuing professional training in caring for the sick, it is also important to train them to deal with patients who will die in spite of the best available care.

Mr Gan said that "it requires understanding when intensive care will not benefit patients", and ICU staff need to know how best to communicate that with families or surrogates. They also play an important role in guiding and supporting them on making decisions on clinical care, and to ensure that the views of the patients and their families are respected, he added.