Myongji Hospital, Myongji Medical Foundation
Country: South Korea
Dual-track healthcare system (DTHS) for providing essential clinical care for non-COVID-19 patients amidst ongoing treatment of COVID-19 patients
Myongji Hospital put in place a dual-track healthcare system that allowed it to simultaneously treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Born out of its experience in dealing with the H1N1 and the MERS crises, this flexible response strategy allowed the hospital to continue providing essential clinical care for non-COVID-19 patients even in the midst of the pandemic.
Under this system, there are spatially separated emergency departments, out-patient departments, inpatient wards and intensive care units for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Different medical staff are also delegated to these separate areas. The hospital also issued technical guidelines in the use of a buffer zone, and provided a 24-hour in-house RT-PCR testing. To ensure a cohesive approach despite the dual-track system, Myongji Hospital established several online communication channels among its staff. The platform also included digital publication of a daily in-house bulletin made available to all members of the hospital community.
To determine the success of its dual-track healthcare system, Myongji Hospital tracked the number of patients who availed of essential clinical care for 20 weeks following the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its results showed that while the number of non-COVID-19 patients visiting the emergency department declined by 37.6%, the inflow of patients seeking emergency treatment for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, severe trauma, and acute appendicitis did not decrease.
Myongji Hospital has been recognized across South Korea for its efficient pandemic response system. It is widely recognized as a leader in the private sector, and its insights have been sought after by other healthcare facilities.