Myongji Hospital said it has raised the hospital’s medical response system to the new coronavirus from the previous four stages to five stages, and conduct RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test on all hospitalized patients.
Under the strengthened system, the hospital began to conduct the COVID-19 test on all newly hospitalized patients on Monday. Prior to the move, the hospital had tested all pneumonia patients using RT-PCR, treated patients with respiratory symptoms separately, and cared for confirmed patients at negative pressure rooms.
Myongji Hospital, located in Goyang, just north of Seoul, had operated a four-stage treatment system -- relief outpatient care, screening clinic, pneumonia ward, and general practice. On Monday, it added the firth level by conducting RT-PCR on a patient one day before hospitalization. The hospital then sends patients showing negative responses to general wards and hospitalizes those with positive responses at the negative pressure room.
Would-be inpatients should self-quarantine at home. However, patients who require urgent hospitalization or come from other provinces will wait in the admission screening unit (ASU) until results come out.
|This is Myongji Hospital’s admission screening unit, where patients wait for their hospitalization before the results of the COVID-19 test come out. (Credit: Myongji Hospital)|
The existing pneumonia relief ward has been changed to Pneumonia Surveillance Unit (PSU), and those inpatients who show pneumonia symptoms without taking the COVID-19 test will be moved to PSU to take RT-PCR and chest CT tests.
Myongji has designated and run the entire area of its Regional Emergency Medical Center (Block E) as “COVID-19 Building.”
The first floor of Block E consists of emergency and relief outpatient centers, screening clinics, and negative pressure rooms. The third floor has a PSU, and the fourth floor, the ASU. The second and fifth floors have negative pressure rooms exclusively treating COVID-19 confirmed patients.
"If we could compare the fight against COVID-19 to Admiral Yi Sun-shin’s successful defeat of Japanese invaders, the Block E should play the role of the turtle ship,” Myongji Hospital Chairman Lee Wang-jun said. "Conducting virus tests on all inpatients is one of the preemptive measures to block in-hospital infections.”
This hospital is ready to put it into action even at its own expense if some patients refuse the expensive test not covered by health insurance, Lee added.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>