Chinhak Chun, MD
Director of Patient Safety and Quality, Sejong Hospital
Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Mediplex Sejong Hospital
Intermittent International Consultant, Joint Commission International
Dr. Chinhak Chun discusses how hospitals in Korea worked to contain the virus.
Quick action taken to mobilize hospitals in Korea
“In January, Korea began to experience the largest outbreak of COVID-19 outside of China. The entire country was placed on alert almost overnight. My hospitals, medium-sized general hospitals near Seoul, mobilized on a short notice to screen all patients as well as visitors. We drew up a hospital-wide action plan (what, who, when), which included closing nearly all entry to the hospital to start tedious, but meticulous screening. This screening included multiple questions about travel and contact history, temperature measurements and if necessary, patients with fever or respiratory tract symptoms were triaged for urgent testing for the virus or examined by the specialists in infectious diseases and lung disease. At the same time, we prepared the dedicated wards and negative pressure rooms to hospitalize confirmed or suspected patients.”
“The work has not stopped since January, even though Korea was successful in containing the outbreak by the end of April. The entire hospital staff has participated in some way to make this effort work. Now we are preparing for a potential resurgence and ‘digging in’ for the long-haul.”