An Outcomes Study on the Effects of the Singapore General Hospital Burns Protocol

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Abstract

Introduction

The Singapore General Hospital Burns Protocol was implemented in May 2014 to standardize treatment for all burns patients, incorporate new techniques and materials, and streamline the processes and workflow of burns management. This study aims to analyze the effects of the Burns Protocol 2 years after its implementation.

Methods

Using a REDCap electronic database, all burns patients admitted from May 2013 to April 2016 were included in the study. The historical preimplementation control group composed of patients admitted from May 2013 to April 2014 (n = 96). The postimplementation prospective study cohort consisted of patients admitted from May 2014 to April 2016 (n = 243). Details of the patients collected included age, sex, comorbidities, total body surface area (TBSA) burns, time until surgery, number of surgeries, number of positive tissue and blood cultures, and length of hospital stay.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference in the demographics of both groups. The study group had a statistically significant shorter time to surgery compared with the control group (20.8 vs 38.1, P < 0.0001). The study group also averaged fewer surgeries performed (1.96 vs 2.29, P = 0.285), which, after accounting for the extent of burns, was statistically significant (number of surgeries/TBSA, 0.324 vs 0.506; P = 0.0499). The study group also had significantly shorter length of stay (12.5 vs 16.8, P = 0.0273), a shorter length of stay/TBSA burns (0.874 vs 1.342, P = 0.0101), and fewer positive tissue cultures (0.6 vs 1.3, P = 0.0003). The study group also trended toward fewer positive blood culture results (0.09 vs 0.35, P = 0.0593), although the difference was just shy of statistical significance.

Conclusions

The new Singapore General Hospital Burns Protocol had revolutionized Singapore burns care by introducing a streamlined, multidisciplinary burns management, resulting in improved patient outcomes, lowered health care costs, and improved system resource use.

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