Korean J Crit Care Med.  2014 Nov;29(4):246-249. 10.4266/kjccm.2014.29.4.246.

How to Enhance Critical Care in Korea: Challenges and Vision

  • 1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yskoh@amc.seoul.kr


The goal of critical care is to reverse patients' acute problems in effective and ethical ways with minimum costs. Unlike in other medical fields, the quality of Korean critical care has lagged behind that of advanced countries. Moreover, the level of critical care quality differs significantly between university hospitals. The suboptimal critical care level has multifactorial causes. The major challenge to Korean intensivists is, therefore, how to overcome barriers in the current critical care delivery system to improve outcomes for critically ill patients and reduce medical errors in error-prone Intensive Care Unit (ICUs). A long-term task force including all stakeholders should address the multifactorial barriers to better outcomes. The Korean Society of Critical Care Medicine should perform the central role to dismantle the barriers step by step with a long-term vision for a desirable critical care delivery system in our society. A capable critical care team with full-time intensivists is the most urgent requirement for proper, timely care in ICUs. Intensivists should focus on basic but essential management so scarcity of resources can be minimized. Publicity about ICU to the general public is also urgently required to draw the attention of medical policy makers to the current suboptimal level of our critical care system.


barrier; enhancement; intensive care units; quality; reimbursement

MeSH Terms

Administrative Personnel
Advisory Committees
Critical Care*
Critical Illness
Hospitals, University
Intensive Care Units
Medical Errors


  • Fig. 1. Compliance with the surviving sepsis campaign guideline in Asian countries.[13]

Cited by  1 articles

Major Obstacles to Implement a Full-Time Intensivist in Korean Adult ICUs: a Questionnaire Survey
Jun Wan Lee, Jae Young Moon, Seok Wha Youn, Yong Sup Shin, Sang Il Park, Dong Chan Kim, Younsuk Koh
Korean J Crit Care Med. 2016;31(2):111-117.    doi: 10.4266/kjccm.2016.31.2.111.



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