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Screen doors at hospitals ‘kill two birds with one stone’
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2017.08.04 17:58
  • Updated 2017.08.07 08:25
  • comments 0

Screen doors at hospital wards, introduced to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the wake of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERSW) in 2015, are getting renewed attention.

This is not only because these doors have proved useful in meeting the initial purpose of blocking infections but because they have been included in the additional criteria for the third-stage designation of “tertiary general hospitals.”

Chonnam National University Hwasun Hoapital화순전남대병원, Soon Chun Hyang University Cheonan Hospital 순천향대천안병원, and Ewha Womans Universtiy Mokdong Hospital이대목동병원 have installed screen doors in front of wards and operated a visitor control system since Tuesday.

All of them have applied for the designation as tertiary general hospitals.

Screen door installed at the ward of Ewha Womans Universtiy Mokdong Hospital.

On Aug. 1, Ewha Womans Universtiy Mokdong Hospital installed screen doors at all the entrances of its wards and beefed up security personnel to control visitors for 24 hours.

To pass screen doors, a visitor should have a pass embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) tag or bar code. The hospital provides the pass to patients and only two people (guardian and caregiver) per patient.

Soon Chun Hyang University Cheonan Hospital is operating a similar system. Each ward has screen doors and security guards to control for 24 hours. And visitors have to fill out the visitor’s book.

Employees and the security guard at Soon Chun Hyang University Cheonan Hospital publicize their campaign to improve hospital visiting culture, in front of the screen doors.

Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital has also begun to control visitors. To enter wards, people have to swap the pass card on the reader.

Visitors have to leave a record in documents at wards or help desks for epidemiological investigation in an emergency condition.

Hospitals say they have installed screen doors both to prevent infections and to meet standards to get additional points for becoming tertiary general hospitals.

“The main reason is to avoid the spread of infectious disease. Moreover, we have made a significant investment because the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW)복지부 included the installation of screen doors in additional criteria for designating tertiary general hospitals,” said an official at Soon Chun Hyang University Cheonan Hospital. “It is desirable for public health as well as positive for the hospital in the long term.”

“It 's hard to say the installation of screen doors is only aimed to meet the criteria of the ministry, but that was part of reasons,” said an official at Ewha Womans Universtiy Mokdong Hospital. “It is a multi-purpose move, including preventing the spread infectious diseases.”

The ministry has strengthened standards to control visitors and security guards, thinking one of the reasons behind the MERS incident were uncontrolled visits to hospitals.


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