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The CIO Interview: Hee Hwang, CIO at SNU Bundang Hospital, South Korea

Jack Loo and Zafar Anjum | Feb. 4, 2014
Hee Hwang, CIO at SNU Bundang Hospital, one of South Korea's top hospitals, explains how he zeroed in on SAP HANA to solve his hospital's data warehousing and big data issues

Dr Hee

Dr. Hee Hwang, CIO at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital's (SNUBH)  and associate professor for pediatric neurology

The healthcare market in Asia-Pacific (APAC) is booming and an interesting example of the innovativeness of the region is reflected in Seoul National University Bundang Hospital's (SNUBH) embrace of SAP HANA as a data warehousing solution.

According to Dr. Hee Hwang, CIO at SNUBH and associate professor for pediatric neurology, the institute was the first fully digitalised, paperless hospital in APAC back in 2003.

"Our hospital is one of four affiliated hospitals to the Seoul National University School of Medicine," Hee says. "Seoul National University has the longest history in modern medicine in South Korea - more than 150 years. Its reputation is of the highest standard in South Korea."

"We opened as one of the affiliated hospitals to the medical school in 2003 as the first full digitalised paperless hospital in the Asia Pacific area," he says with rightful pride.

Besides digitising its medical records, SNUBH also introduced the Hospital Information Exchange System for easy sharing of patient records. "In 2006, we launched our hospital information exchange system for the data sharing between our hospital and more than fifty primary clinic hospitals," Hee says. "Through that kind of system, the participating patient does not need to bring any kind of paper. When they visit our hospital, doctors can see all kinds of information in online systems, through the data sharing (application). That system was verified by the IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise), an organisation to give us some guidelines for the international standard for the data sharing project for the healthcare IT system. Our system has been verified by IHE Connectathon, the verification programme, for the last three consecutive years."

A year later, SNUBH included RFID sensors to its healthcare system for real-time asset tracking. "In 2007, we adopted RFID technology and barcode technology for the real-time tracking system, and through this kind of technology we adopted very safe close the loop medication or administration systems, for the patient's safety, (and) for the reduction of medication error within the hospital," he says.

Boosting patient care with HANA 

The hospital took its biggest technological leap when it decided to invest in a clinical and business data warehouse system that not only improved patient care, but also aided doctors in retrieving key data in real-time for clinical research work.

"For HANA DB and SAP collaboration, the clinical and business data warehouse system is very important for the tertiary hospital," Hee says. "In Seoul National University Hospital, we have 21,400 beds and our main hospital, Seoul National University Hospital, has 1900 beds...So the data analysis or data collection and providing some feedback to the clinicians or administrative officers is very critical for the maintenance of our system, (and) our hospital."


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