Report: Real-time technology enables better medical services in China
By Wu Guoxiu, Bao Hongwei
China's medical services have made great strides over the past half decade. That's according to a new report published on Friday by China's public health authorities. It says services have become more accessible and are of a higher-quality. Driving the changes is the real-time data technology.
The national center set up in Beijing's Tiantan hospital monitors the quality of treatment provided for neurological diseases. Take strokes for example. It's helped establish 2,700 stroke centers in public hospitals across more than 30 provinces and regions.
"Residents living within an hour drive of the stroke centers can opt for convenience. They cover over 60 percent of China's residential areas. Some areas also receive remote instructions from experts during emergency rescues related to cerebral vascular diseases, ensuring real-time access to high-quality medical services," said Wang Yongjun, director of the National Quality Control Center for Neurological Diseases.
China has set up over 40 national level quality control centers for medical services, and 1,400 provincial level ones. By evaluating different departments in real-time, the government is promising the public it will be able to access equitable medical services without the need to transfer to larger hospitals in big cities.
"The unbalanced distribution of medical services is a problem that still exists. The top five places in terms of patients leaving to access medical services are Tibet, Anhui, Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Gansu. The top five places people go to are Shanghai, Beijing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong," said Guo Yanhong, supervisor of the Bureau of Medical Administration at National Health Commission
China had over one million medical institutions in 2019, with 34,000 hospitals.
The number of practicing doctors and assistant doctors has reached over 3.8 million, one-third more compared to 2014. The system established by the government is forcing hospitals to keep improving through the real-time monitoring of their performance. And technology is playing a leading role.
A big screen at Tiantan hospital observes and evaluates the quality of all the medical processes taking place in the hospital. You can see real-time data for where each patient is located, all the surgeries currently taking place and even the hospital's revenue. It also contains more detailed indexes.
The country's top health authority says these are designed to evaluate the overall quality of Chinese hospitals.