Seoul is the third most densely populated area in the world except for the city-state. However, a national disaster plan has not yet been established.
From September 2017, representatives of seven regional emergency medical centers in Seoul met monthly and decided to investigate basic data for the future establishment of surge capacity planning.
Staff, supply, space, and systems for surge capacity were surveyed in seven hospitals. The additional surveyed data were as follows: hospital incident command system and actual operational experience; performance of disaster drill; safety and security plan; estimation of surge capacity in normal operating conditions and extreme operating conditions; alternative therapeutic spaces; back-up plan to call non-duty medical staff; decontamination equipment; contingency plan for stuff shortage; etc.
All the hospitals reported they have hospital incident command systems and held disaster drills every year, however, the two hospitals (28.5%) had no real experience of hospital incident command system activation. Five hospitals (71.4%) did not have a safety and security plan. They replied they can treat average 7.7 emergency patients (Korean Triage and Acute scale (KTAS) ≤ 3), 10 non-emergent patients (KTAS>4), 0.9 surgical patients and 0.7 unstable patients simultaneously in normal operating conditions. In extreme operating conditions, they replied they can treat average 26.4 emergency patients (KTAS ≤ 3), 54.3 non-emergent patients (KTAS>4), 37 surgical patients and 2.3 unstable patients simultaneously. The two hospitals (28.5%) had no alternative therapeutic spaces, no back-up plan to call non-duty medical staff and no contingency plan for stuff shortage. Three hospitals (42.9%) did not have decontamination equipment.
The survey revealed the basic data for surge capacity planning in Seoul. Data from hospitals other than regional emergency medical centers should be collected for the completion of disaster plans.