J Korean Med Sci.  2021 May;36(19):e134. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e134.

The Development and Operation of a Home Management System during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experience of the Local Government Gyeonggi-do in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Gyeonggi Public Health Policy Institute, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Unit for Public Health Care, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 3Gyonggi Provincial Medical Center Anseong Hospital, Anseong, Korea

Abstract

During the three the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surges in South Korea, there was a shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, and as a result, there were cases of death while waiting for hospitalization. To minimize the risk of death and to allow those confirmed with COVID-19 to safely wait for hospitalization at home, the local government of Gyeonggido in South Korea developed a novel home management system (HMS). The HMS team, comprised of doctors and nurses, was organized to operate HMS. HMS provided a two-way channel for the taskforce and patients to monitor the severity of patient's condition and to provide healthcare counseling as needed. In addition, the HMS team cooperated with a triage/bed assignment team to expedite the response in case of an emergency, and managed a database of severity for real-time monitoring of patients. The HMS became operational for the first time in August 2020, initially managing only 181 patients; it currently manages a total of 3,707 patients. The HMS supplemented the government's COVID-19 confirmed case management framework by managing patients waiting at home for hospitalization due to lack of hospital and residential treatment center beds. HMS also could contribute a sense of psychological stability in patients and prevented the situation from worsening by efficient management of hospital beds and reduction of workloads on public healthcare centers. To stabilize and improve the management of COVID-19 confirmed cases, governments should organically develop self-treatment and HMS, and implement a decisive division of roles within the local governments.

Keyword

COVID-19; Self-isolation; Self-treatment; Home Management; Infectious Disease Response; Pandemic Preparedness; Korea; Gyeonggi-do
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