Protection and response of a tertiary hospital in South Korea to the COVID-19 outbreak
ObjectiveHere, we present an overview of how a tertiary hospital responded to maintain necessary activities and protect patients and staff from COVID-19 outbreak.MethodsGil Medical Center, a tertiary hospital in Incheon, operated special response team since January 21, 2020. All visitors were assessed for body temperature and respiratory symptoms, and were screened for recent overseas travel. Suspected COVID-19 patients were taken to a screening clinic. All febrile patients with or without respiratory symptoms were taken to a respiratory safety clinic. An isolation ward, which consisted of 10 negative-pressure rooms, was used to treat confirmed-cases. More than 120 beds were prepared for the outbreak and patients with pneumonia were preemptively isolated.ResultsBy May 5th, 480,960 visitors were assessed at control station, 3,350 patients visited the triage center, and 1,794 were treated in the respiratory safety clinic. Seventeen confirmed-cases were admitted to the negative isolation ward, and 350 patients with pneumonia were preemptively isolated. Total 2,977 SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests were performed.ConclusionsTertiary hospitals play an important role in both treating COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients. Hospitals have to protect themselves from unexpected in-hospital transmission. Multifaceted response must be undertaken to protect tertiary hospitals during the COVID-19 epidemic. © 2020 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.