Konkuk University Medical Center and its Globalization
Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Making a new leap forward - Celebrating the 5th anniversary
In August 2005, the hospital was rebuilt on a lot of 17,000 square meters. This new hospital was built in response to the rapidly changing medical environment, and to provide a top-notch medical service. As a result, Konkuk University Medical Center was reborn as an 870-bed establishment occupying a total space of 83,000 square meters, with 13 floors above the ground and 4 floors below. In the inpatient department, there are 870 beds, including 92 beds in the intensive care unit. In the outpatient department, there are 31 units with 4 major specialized centers. On August 1, 2010, the medical center celebrated the 5th anniversary of this renovation and the creation of a state-of-the-art hospital. For the past five years, Konkuk University Medical Center has been engaged in constant development as they have been working toward their goal to be one of the top five hospitals in Korea by 2015. The hospital, while remaining faithful to their principles of providing superior care to their patients, allocated substantial monetary and human resources to develop a high-tech infrastructure which can provide quick and accurate diagnoses, as well as sufficient manpower and equipment to provide world-class medical treatment. Since the renovation, the hospital has focused on recruiting the best medical team and continuing their investment in high-tech facilities and equipment. To improve convenience and comfort of their medical facility, it also expanded and upgraded the rest areas for patients and has installed modern conveniences, such as a permanent art gallery. However, an average number of 2700 outpatients and 700 inpatients per day, with demand for their medical services on the rise, is threatening to overwhelm the existing space that is available at the hospital. To address the strain on capacity for treatment and patients’ rooms, the medical center is planning an expansion of the existing building and to rearrange other spaces in the current location during the second half of this year. Their long term plans include construction of a new building.
A Long-Term Plan - Construction of a New Wing for the Big 5 Cancers, Heart Disease, Cerebrovascular Disease
A task force has been devising the new plan for construction of a similar-sized building next to the existing one. The scale of the new building will be 6,600 square-meters of floor space with 13 floors above ground and 6 underground. Construction of the new building is slated to begin in 2012 and be completed sometime in 2015. The design of the new wing includes an additional 800 beds. The new building will become home to specialized clinics, research and treatment facilities for care-givers who specialize in the big five cancers (lung, breast, bowel, stomach and prostate), heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. To provide better-quality service and sustain a comfortable environment for a growing number of patients, who are suffering from severe illnesses, the new building will create much needed space. Their efforts to improve the hospital in this way will set them apart from other existing university hospitals in Korea. The improved facility will feature a bridge between the new tower and the existing one, as well as a tunnel between the two, so that patients and staff members won't have to brave the elements when the need arises to travel from one building to the other. These conduits between old and new will also serve to maximize efficiency of resource management. “The westernization of the Korean lifestyle and a soaring population of older people are contributing to the escalation of serious illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases,” said Paik Nam-sun, President of Konkuk University Medical Center. “Specialization in these fields is necessary for us to be more competitive,” he added.
A Short-Term Plan
Until the new wing is completed, space must be utilized as efficiently as possible. Konkuk University Medical Center has created additional space. Since last year, they have expanded surgery rooms and related facilities and the health care center. They were also able to establish new VIP rooms on the 12th floor and the KU Gallery. They have remodeled the lounge for outpatients, relocated the administration office and professors’ offices. The rapid increase of patients, however, is making the solution for supplementation necessary, thus the center drew up short-term and long-term expansion plans, which are either under way or, in some cases, completed.
Expansion of the space for outpatients
The expansion of space for outpatients is planned to begin in the second half of the year and last for approximately 6 months. At present, one additional floor is scheduled to be built , as well as a roof-top garden on the 4th floor, which will bring 1300 square-meters of extra space. An endoscopy room, which has various kinds of state-of-the-art equipment used for evaluation and diagnosis, is going to be established in this space. To enhance accessibility, two more elevators, that will be designated for use exclusively for egress to and from this area, are going to be installed.
Rearrangement of Doctor’s Offices
Currently, half of the second floor is being used as a digestive organ center and an endoscopy room This space will be converted into surgeons’ offices and a dedicated area for performing specialized care for gastric, colon, liver and biliary tract diseases.
The department of surgery on the first floor will change its focus to a department that is fully dedicated to serving patients with breast cancer and thyroid cancer. The new department will share space with the Integrated Medicine Clinic. The research that will be conducted to identify ways of improving cancer patients' lives through food, dietary supplement and immunotherapy, among others, will be in the purview of the Integrated Medicine Clinic.
In order to remain abreast of the increasing number of cardiac patients, the cardiothoracic surgeon’s office is being moved and extended from the second floor to the first floor. Following the move, the office will undergo an upgrade in specialized equipment and systems for cardiac, pulmonary and esophageal diseases. The injection room will also be relocated to the second floor, in a space once occupied by a laboratory. This move will result in 10 additional beds, bringing the total number to 27. The reason for enhancing the capacity in the injection room is so that it will be able to accommodate an increasing number of patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. The clinical laboratory that formerly occupied the new injection clinic space has secured a new location on the second basement level. The lab's new area is twice as big as the old space, providing an opportunity to enhance the lab equipment and systems, including the addition of a pneumatic tube.
The Introduction of Equipment
The most critical operational need for the medical center is deployment of new MRI scanning capability. The two pieces of equipment, 1.5T and 3.0T are already in full operation and functioning at maximum capacity. The center is also debating the need for the introduction of more PET-CT scanning equipment to augment the existing apparatus, which has been scanning 350 cases a month. Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), uses electron beam radiation to directly treat a tumor bed or residual tumor during the surgery of breast cancer patients. This cutting-edge cancer treatment offers many benefits, including easy visibility for the physician, the protection of critical organs, and more. A system that will allow the center to offer this kind of treatment is also planned to be introduced.
Konkuk University Medical Center holds the highest rating in hemodialysis assessment.
Konkuk University Medical Center received the highest ratings from the ‘Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service' in hemodialysis evaluation, with the score of 94.2. This score is higher than the score of the general medical institution average (81.8), that of institutions of the same classification(84) and those in the same region (86.1). This assessment is based on the comprehensive evaluation including the structural side such as manpower, facilities and equipment and also the relevance of hemodialysis, blood vessel control and anemia control. Konkuk University Medical Center holds a top 0.2% rank in the ratio of hemodialysis specialists, the frequency of the water quality examination, the frequency of testing the relevance of hemodialysis and the sufficiency of monitoring fistula stenosis.
Also Konkuk University Medical Center received a good grade in the possession and management of emergency equipment used in the hemodialysis room and equipment for only those with hepatitis type B. Dr. Jo, Young-il, a professor and a cardiac physician, said, “We are glad to be recognized for our constant effort to perform safer and more accurate hemodialysis for our patients.” He also said that Konkuk University Medical Center has succeeded in the past in caring for the health of their patients through continuous and efficient medical quality management and will continue to do so in the future.
Konkuk University Medical Center Enters a Cooperative Agreement with UPMC
Konkuk University Medical Center said that they had met with representatives of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) during their recent visit to Korea on June 26 and 27. The groups discussed mutual cooperation in the cardiac disorder field. UPMC introduced the details regarding the cooperative agreement, and proposed the academic tie at the meeting, which was attended by cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiovascular physicians, radiologists and anesthesiologists. UPMC is renowned for having the world’s highest skilled and professional organization in the heart transplant and mechanical heart fields. UPMC’s recent development of a web-based health care program utilizing Bluetooth technology put UPMC ahead of U-Healthcare.
“We hope this can be the opportunity to raise the medical standard in the area of cardiac medicine to another level through multilateral academic exchange and close cooperation,” Dr. Paik Nam-sun said at the meeting. Dr. Robert Ferrara who is a cardiologist at UPMC said he was pleasantly surprised to know Konkuk University Medical Center had already been operating the ‘HUS’ System (the remote administration system via mobile), and had attained a high level of proficiency in the cardiac disorder area. He also expressed his expectation for mutual prosperity of both Konkuk University Medical Center and UPMC through this active cooperation.Medical Aid For Overseas Koreans – Through associations of Korean residents the world over Konkuk University Medical Center entered into an arrangement with associations of Korean residents in Oceanic regions and in Europe to supply medical aid and held a signing ceremony on 22nd and 23rd of September. Konkuk University Medical Center said on the 24th that they would provide higher-quality medical services and various medical support programs to overseas Koreans who visit Korea. Presidents from a total of 9 associations of overseas Koreans including Jeong Hae-myung from ‘The Federation of Korean Associations in Oceania’, Park Jong-bum from ‘The Association of Koreans in Austria’, Choi Byung-ho from ‘The Association of Koreans in Germany’, Seo Byung-il from ‘The Association of Koreans in the UK’, Ko Kwang-hee from ‘The Association of Koreans in Spain’, Rhim Nam-hee from ‘The Association of Koreans in France’, Yoon Hye-sook from ‘The Association of Koreans in Luxembourg’, Choo Kyo-jin from ‘The Association of Koreans in Finland’, Lee Chul from ‘The Association of Koreans in Sweden’ attended the ceremony. Konkuk University Medical Center said, “We decided to provide our compatriot patients (inpatients and outpatients both) with 100% application of medical insurance cost, which includes cancer tests and other examinations, reduced fees for use of the the funeral hall and ‘The Classic 500’ (a private fitness club) nearby the center. “This arrangement will be a great opportunity for our compatriots abroad to experience their homeland’s high level of medical service,” Ph.D. Paik Nam-sun, the president of Konkuk University Medical Center said.
Open to the world
Konkuk University Medical Center specializes in the treatment of cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease at level rivaling any medical institution in the world. They have customized their patient care delivery system to cater to the needs of people regardless of origin or culture. They have an English translation program that insures that hospital staff and English speakers will not experience any difficulties in the all-important requirement of robust patient / care giver communication. The medical center is a model for other institutions which are striving to meet the national goal of welcoming foreigners to Korea for treatment of medical conditions. Their tradition of promoting improved general welfare of the populace of Korea has been expanded to include good health for all mankind and they eagerly encourage global citizen to experience their brand of healthcare with open arms.
|Konkuk’s “Homecoming Day” - A Resounding Success “The 3rd Homecoming Day” was Konkuk’s “Homecoming Day” - A Resounding Success “The 3rd Homecoming Day” was held at the Emerald Hall in Konkuk University on June 26. This homecoming Day event takes place every year for information interchange and reinforcing relations between Konkuk medical college alumni and doctors trained at Konkuk University Medical Center. A total number of 80 alumni and faculty including Nam-sun, Paik, the president of Konkuk University Medical Center attended at the event. There was also a seminar about “Financial Planning for a private hospital” and a tour of the medical center.
Cantate Domino Gives a Benefit Performance
Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino Boy’s Choir gave a special benefit performance at the Piano Lounge in Konkuk University Medical Center on July 8. An audience of about 300 that were mostly patients, their families, and hospital staff enjoyed this beautiful event. Cantate Domino performed Mozart, Handel, Haydn and Vivaldi, along with Korean traditional songs, “Spring of my hometown’ and ‘Arirang’ in Korean, which the audience greeted with hearty cheers. Cantate Domino was founded in 1959 by its current conductor, Father Michaël Ghijs. The choir consists of almost seventy singers who are all pupils or former pupils of the St-Martin's Institute, a regular secondary school in Aalst, a town at 30 kilometers from Brussels, in the Heart of Europe. The boys rehearse daily, before and after classes, amounting to more than 10 hours per week. The choir received the title "Choir of the European Union for Belgium" and in December 2002, it was appointed "Cultural Ambassador of Europe" by EU.