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YUHS to introduce ‘hospital medicine department'
  • By Lee Hye-seon
  • Published 2019.05.03 13:23
  • Updated 2019.05.03 14:27
  • comments 0

Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) said it would set up a hospital medicine department consisting of hospitalists, for the first time in Korea.

Hospitalists are physicians directly providing care for inpatients with their services ranging from hospital admission to discharge. The introduction of hospitalists began with the Medical Residents Act in December 2017. Hospitalists act as attending physicians for hospitalized patients, observing progress from the initial diagnosis, counseling for patients, and planning of discharge.

This is an artist’s impression of Yongin Severance Hospital, scheduled to open in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, in 2020.

Over 100 hospitalists are working at 23 hospitals across the nation. YUHS has been actively hiring hospitalists from the pilot program, having 20 hospitalists at seven departments, including internal medicine, general surgery, and orthopedics.

The hospital medicine department will be established at Yongin Severance Hospital, scheduled to open in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, in early 2020.

All the clinical departments with admission authority will work with the hospital medicine department, which will start with 27 hospitalists and three reserved hospitalists for nine wards. The hospital will dispatch three hospitalists to each ward and raise the number gradually.

An increasing number of advanced countries have recently adopted hospital medicine. The U.S. has 60,000 hospitalists, and Japan, over 1,400.

To set up the new hospital medicine department, YUHS signed a memorandum of understanding with Weill Cornell Medicine in October 2018 to introduce Cornell’s “Clinical Scholars Program.”

Two professors of hospital medicine department at the medical school of Cornell University will provide training for hospitalists under YUHS for two years.

Hospital medicine is drawing attention with social demands for the safety of inpatients rising. According to studies on hospital medicine in advanced countries, hospitalists shortened the time of patients’ hospital stay, reduced their mortality rate, and lowered the rate of hospitalization for the same disease.

In a pilot program study in Korea, patients stayed shorter, and the satisfaction of patients and nurses increased thanks to the hospitalist system. As professional physicians manage inpatients, the quality of medical care improved and the operation of the hospital became efficient. Hospitalists also play an essential role in educating medical students and trainee doctors.

The upcoming Yongin Severance Hospital has an artificial intelligent-based system to predict an urgent situation for patients. Physicians can identify risky situations such as sepsis, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and cardiac arrest of patients at intensive care units, wards, and emergency rooms, in advance.


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