The government’s project to promote research-oriented hospitals has turned inefficient because of the inconsistent criteria in designating and supporting such institutions, a state agency says.
Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) 한국과학기술기획평가원 made the analysis in its “2017 National Research and Development Project Evaluation Report” submitted to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) 미래창조과학부.
"For the government to attain its aim in pursuing research-oriented hospitals, it should efficiently implement the project through the close connection of designation and development parts,” the KISTEP report said. “In reality, however, the officials have managed the two parts through separate organizations, pulling down the project’s efficiency.”
The supporting team’s job is to designate and assess related hospitals, analyze outcome and improve systems, while medical technology planning team plans and manages their fostering projects.
KISTEP pointed out, however, the project has revealed problems, including the application of different criteria for evaluating essential accomplishment indexes, including the degrees of independence and intensity in research and development, by its development team and designation team.
"To know how hospitals have expanded R&D, for instance, the fostering team is using ‘R&D intensity' as its index while designation team is using “total research spending against medical institutions’ revenue,’” the report said. “This poses problems in the integrated management of research-oriented hospitals by making it difficult to check overall progress, solve bottlenecks and support the commercialization efforts of research outcome.”
The two agencies that push for this project – the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) 보건복지부 and Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI)한국보건산업진흥원 – should work out ways to connect the two parts efficiently, including the restructuring that ties up their organizations, it said,
The KISTEP report added that efforts to improve designation standards and improve the system have also fallen short of expectations.
"When the ministry planned this project, it proposed institutional support in three areas -- tax, manpower and R&D cost management,” the report said. “All they did were the revision of corporate tax laws and paying labor costs to head researchers and participating researchers.
Commenting on the designation standards research-oriented hospitals, the report pointed out that the effectiveness of assessment for re-designation is low because the criteria made in 2012 for initial designation and that for re-designation in 2016 are nearly identical.
"In evaluating fundamental competency, the criteria for designation and re-designation are all but same,” it said. “In the case of some indexes, such as intellectual property rights and the share of total research cost against medical revenue, the target figures have been set too low levels compared with actual performances of hospitals in both designation and re-designation, making it inevitable to readjust these criteria upward.
Hospitals designated as research-oriented ones have made positive replies concerning their respective accomplishments.
In the survey about the success of the project on 23 operators of 10 selected hospitals, 14 answered “very successful,” six said “successful,” and three replied “so-so.”
As major difficulties, they cited difficulties in securing workforce with masters and doctoral degrees. Some pointed to the need to provide same treatment for hospital researchers and university researchers while others call for permitting the establishment of industry-academy cooperative corps
The 10 hospitals selected as research-oriented institutions are Gachon University Gil Medical Center가천대 길병원, Kyungpook National University Hospital경북대병원, Korea Universiy Guro Hospital고대구로병원, Korea University Anam Hosptail고대안암병원, Cha University Bundang Cha Hospital차의과대 분당차병원, Samsung Medical Center삼성서울병원, Seoul National University Hospital서울대병원, Asan Medical Center서울아산병원, Ajou University Hospital아주대병원, and Severance Hospital세브란스병원.
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