Korean J Clin Pathol.  1999 Dec;19(6):593-597.

The Role of Clinical Pathologists in Nosocomial Infection Control in Korea: Challenge in the New Millennium

  • 1Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea


Systemic nosocomial infection control programs were instituted for the first time in Korea by two university hospitals in Seoul in 1991 when full-time infection control nurses were employed. Since then, infection control programs and activities have been expanded to many university hospitals throughout the country, thanks to an increasing awareness of the importance of preventing nosocomial infections by the government, medical and academic communities and citizens' groups. However, progress has been slow. The tow major problems are: 1) the lack of financial incentives for the hospitals to prevent nosocomial infections ; and 2) a shortage of trained professionals, namely, the infection control nurse and the infection control physician. This review is to summerize the components of cost-effective infection control programs, and the current state of and the problems in the infection control in Korea; and to recommend the clinical pathologist a new role as a infection control physician, which will help not only to activate the infection control programs in the country, but also to reduce the financial loss of the hospital caused by nosocomial infections under the prospective payment system based on diagnosis related groups.


Clinical pathologists; infection control; infection control physicians
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