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Journey towards Revolutionising Healthcare at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital

Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH) is one example of a next frontier healthcare system. SNUBH recovers USD$275 million in revenue per year. It operates with a force of 515 physicians, 780 nurses, and 640 staff. Since 2003, SNUBH has been acting as South Korea’s national medical research hospital.

SNUBH was the first true paperless hospital in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2010, the hospital was the first outside the United States to receive the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Stage 7 Award.

SNUBH is now known in the region for its real-time data analytics systems, which allows for more precise clinical decision making. Using the SAP HANA database services, data insights are delivered straight to the care provider in an efficient and intelligent manner.

Precision Medicine through Data Analytics

SNUBH is working to drive more informed clinical decision-making. This is done through quantitative and qualitative insights derived from a combination of research, clinical, and business data. Although these insights may not be flawless, they provide the ability to correlate between trends, practices, and the patient’s historical data. This helps formulate a favorable solution for the specific case at hand.

In 2004, the hospital activated its data warehouse. In its initial stages, retrieving data was a slow process. Data quality was varying. A lot of the data included unstructured text mixed with medical imaging. Data retrieval took from 1 to 5 hours depending on if the system delivered the right data or not. 

Data collection rapidly increased at the hospital after 2014. In 2006, SNUBH launched a health information exchange with more than 50 other clinics and hospitals. The next year, the hospital integrated RFID sensors and barcode technology.

These technology solutions allowed for better management of medication. It also gave them more patient records data to monitor, manage, and share amongst the network. With an influx of data, the hospital was able to reduce errors and improve the quality of service.

It wasn’t until 2010 that SNUBH began looking for a clinical data warehouse solution to serve its data analytics needs. At the same time, the SAP HANA platform had finished production at Seoul National University. The memory-centric, lightweight, and online transaction processing system attributes drew SNUBH to the newly introduced platform.

The hospital is utilising real-time feedback to evaluate clinical practice guidelines for preoperative antimicrobial prophylaxis.This has transformed the standard for antibiotics administration. The common standard has been 5-6 days before surgery which does not minimise the risks or costs. SNUBH was able to dramatically reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics before surgery, using these real-time insights.

In making more informed clinical decision-making, SNUBH is driving higher quality of care and services. The clinical data warehouse, powered by SAP HANA, has driven the hospital’s evidence-based medical delivery model.

Asia’s First True Paperless Hospital

Seven years after it was established, SNUBH was the first hospital to work off of an electronic medical records system. Paper records were deemed unusable and computerised data became the new norm. This was revolutionary for a hospital to do as this digital system was fairly novel within the healthcare industry.

Throughout the SNUBH network, clinicians and researchers can access records on their enabled devices. Whether they are in offices, a laboratory, or point of care, they can find their patient’s treatment data.

It was in 2010 that the hospital was awarded with the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award. This award meant that the hospital met all the requirements to be designated as a truly paperless hospital.  There are only 3 hospitals in the region which have been awarded this designation. The two others being located in Mainland China.

SNUBH is driving digital transformation in healthcare throughout South Korea. By enabling its advanced data analytics solutions and paperless health records system, it has brought the hospital closer to precision medicine.  The hospital is a model for the region. As the healthcare industry begins to embrace modernisation, it can look to Seoul National University Bundang Hospital for guidance.

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