Shu-Chen Chang, Associate Director, Dept. of Emergency Medicine
In response to the spread of COVID-19, National Cheng Kung University Hospital has formulated the "Mobilization Plan for Setting Up Dedicated Wards" and listed negative pressure care zones as key outdoor epidemic control zones. As the building is white and shiny in appearance, it is known as the little White House. In April 2021, Superintendent Meng-Ru Shen of National Cheng Kung University Hospital continued the concept of building a modular and mobile emergency hospital by National Cheng Kung University and set up negative pressure dedicated care zones in the outdoor carpark of the emergency department. This was officially opened in September of the same year. In April-May 2022, the emergency department encountered a continuous surge of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients and anxious patients carrying sick children and adults helping elderly patients could be seen seeking medical attention outside the emergency department. Besides anxiously accelerating the consultation process, the emergency department is also filled with compassion and love from medical staff.
Luckily, the negative pressure dedicated care zone play its role of outdoor epidemic control function and provided medical technologies and a safe and comfortable care environment. This effectively sooth the congestion of patients in the emergency department negative pressure zone and achieved epidemic control planning and subdivision policies. The negative pressure dedicated care zone combines professional monitoring and safe environmental control to establish informatized and prompt medical information, patient dynamic management and screen platform, tripartite communication channels between medical staff, patients, and family members, and create wall-free medical care, and achieving a consultation environment that is warm to patients and put family members at ease.
The negative pressure dedicated care zone possess standard negative pressure medical spaces and innovative medical services and was successfully used in COVID-19 epidemic control. In addition, its detachable and reattachable design is more in line with the mobility of negative pressure dedicated care and supplementary reserve capacity. This is important and valuable in operation in epidemic control frontlines and medical force.
Figure 1. Wall-free environment of little White House
Figure 2: Providing smart medical services
Figure 3: Dedicated facilities and equipment used in dedicated zone