Friday, 15 November 2013

China medical news roundup for Friday 15 November


Village doctors empowered with cloud computing

Doctors serving China’s 900 million people living in rural areas are being helped with cloud computing. In a pilot study, researchers from Taiwan equipped village doctors with Health Information Technology and developing an electronic health record (EHR) system.
The EHR system based on a Cloud-computing architecture was developed and deployed in Xilingol county of Inner Mongolia using various computing resources (hardware and software) to deliver services over the health network using internet when available. From 2008 to 2011 health records were created for 26% (291,087) of 1,108,951 Xilingol residents. There were 10,240 cases of hypertension and 1,152 cases of diabetes diagnosed and registered. Furthermore, 2,945 hypertensive and 305 diabetic patients enrolled in follow-up. Implementing the EHR system revealed a high rate of cholecystectomies leading to investigations and findings of drinking water contaminated with metals. Measures were taken to inform the population and clean drinking water was supplied.
The researchers concluded: “The Cloud-based EHR approach improved the care provision for village doctor in rural China and increased the efficiency of the healthcare system to monitor the health status of the population and to manage preventive care efforts. It also helped discover contaminated water in one of the project areas revealing further benefits if the system is expanded and improved.”
 Full study: Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine

Unifying medical insurance is a gradual process: expert

China is attempting to put its three medical insurance systems under one administration, but a healthcare researcher has warned that obstacles still remain, and an effective solution is to merge two of them initially.
The move can only be done step by step, and the first step is to unify the management of the urban resident basic medical insurance and the new rural cooperative medical scheme, Ying Yazhen, of the National Health Development Research Center under the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), was quoted as saying in a report carried on Thursday by the China Business News.
Merging the two insurance schemes is feasible as they are similar in terms of fund raising, reimbursement standards and the income of people under their coverage, Ying explained.
She said many places in China, such as parts of the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang and the central province of Anhui, have already merged the two insurances and realized a free capital flow between the two.
Considering its huge population and imbalanced economic development, China implements three separate medical insurances -- the urban workers basic medical insurance for urban employees, the new rural cooperative medical scheme for the rural population, and the urban resident basic medical insurance for people who are not included in the first two insurances, mainly the underage and unemployed residents in cities.
However, the two insurances set for urban residents are managed by the country's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, while the scheme for rural people is administrated by the NHFPC. The State Council, or China's cabinet, decided this March to put the three insurances under one administration in order to reduce government redundancy and raise efficiency in medical services. Ying suggested putting all the three insurances under the control of the NHFPC because it is best placed to coordinate the management of the insurances and the medical service fees and quality.
But the researcher insisted that a gradual process is needed for such unified administration.
Compared with the other two systems, the insurance for urban employees is quite different in its participation polices and financing levels, which can be five to seven times higher, Ying told the China Business News.
What's more, its reimbursement percentage for participants, which may reach up to more than 90 percent, is also much higher than the scheme for the rural population and the insurance for unemployed urban residents, according to Ying. The reimbursement percentages of the latter two are often about 55 percent of what patients should pay for medical services.
Ying said there have been rare examples across the country in which the three insurances have been merged for unified management; however, even where this has been attained, administrators have not been able to manage free capital flow among the three insurances.
Source: Global Times

Shanghai to set up China’s first translational medicine centre

The country's first national-level translational medicine center will be established in Shanghai to promote health benefits for individuals and communities.
Translational medicine, also known as translational science, is a discipline within biomedical and public health research. It focuses on translating laboratory findings into diagnostic tools, medicines, procedures, policies and education to improve the health of individuals.
"Translational medicine in China is rapidly growing, though started recently. The establishment of the new center will boost the development of translational medicine in the country," said Zhao Qiang, vice-president of Shanghai Ruijin Hospital.
Covering an area of 60,000 square meters, the research center will have 300 beds for clinical research. And its research will focus on tumors, cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases among others.
This weekend, the 8th Sino-US Symposium on Medicine in the 21st Century will be held in Shanghai on Nov 16-17, and this year's theme is translational medicine. Medical experts and scholars from both home and abroad will come together to discuss the latest research and the practice's development in the world.
Source: China Daily

Shanghai cracks down on illegal medical practices

At a conference in the Jiading district of the city of Shanghai, on Nov 11, the organizers announced plans to monitor the medical services field in the fight against illegal medical practices.
The related crackdown mainly targets unlicensed practitioners, unnecessary fetal gender tests, and sex-selective abortions.
The district government began its medical monitoring efforts back in 2005 and in the intervening years has developed a governmental management system involving health supervisors and community health service centers. And, things have worked out well, with the discovery of 2,373 illegal activities, with punishment handed out in 742 of the cases, and 54 handed over to the judiciary resulting in 41 people being sentenced.

Rainbow masks a hit for Hunan surgical staff

Have you ever walked into an operating room fearing the surgeons? Fear not, because rainbow-colored surgical masks and caps designed to ease patients' tension is apparently the latest thing to hit Chinese hospitals.
Allegedly inspired by the hit TV show, Grey's Anatomy, doctors and nurses of Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child care hospital have joined in on the fashion.
With a variety of patterns such as flowers, clouds, animals, Hello Kitty and more, doctors believe the color helps calm the patients and distract them - presumably from the likelihood that they'll lose an ovary during a pelvic operation or get blinded during a nose job. Zing!
Source: Shanghai-ist

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