Explosive growth and groundbreaking digital transformations are underway in China’s enormous healthcare market, and now a Beijing hospital has become the first private healthcare organisation in the nation to achieve Stage 6 on the HIMSS EMRAM scale for its electronic medical record system.
Recognised as one of the world’s highest standards for hospitals, the Beijing United Family Healthcare milestone is a nod to the successful implementation of the InterSystems TrakCare system.
“Doctors, nurses and other authorised care team members can all see a complete electronic patient record, reducing risks associated with information gaps,” Director of Healthcare IT Systems at Beijing United Family Healthcare Dr Jenny Shao said.
“TrakCare’s clinical and data analysis capabilities also provide clinical support, alerting carers about contraindicated medications, for example, to improve the quality of care.”
Quality of care at the Beijing hospital has also been improved with closed loop medication administration, a key requirement of the HIMSS distinction.
“Using barcodes tracked by TrakCare we demonstrated the ‘5 rights’ of closed loop medication administration – right patient, right drug, right dose, right route and right time – in our EMRAM Stage 6 assessment,” Shao said.
“The HIMSS report stated that our electronic medication administration record is the best they have seen in China.”
Modernisation of China’s healthcare system continues at a blistering pace in a country containing almost a fifth of the world’s population, with demand on the overburdened infrastructure fuelled by rising numbers of the aging, and those with chronic diseases and comorbidities. The numbers are astonishing. The United Nations estimates that within the population of 1.3 billion, about 83 million live with a disability – more than three times the total population of Australia. Over 140 million people are aged over 65, a figure projected to grow to 230 million by 2030. Of those aged over 50, about 50 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women are smokers.
In response to the growing pressures, insufficient resources and inequality in access to quality care, in 2009 the Chinese government began the process of opening up the sector and introducing reforms aimed at providing universal affordable healthcare. With those incentives has come infrastructure development, rapid tech uptake and global investment, contributing to the creation of more hospital beds, plummeting childhood mortality rates, and a significantly improved life expectancy that means a baby born today can expect to live 30 years longer than a baby born 50 years ago.
As part of those reforms, the country’s 2017 free trade agreement with Australia will see the phasing out over four years of Chinese tariffs of 3 to 10 per cent in the health and aged care areas, promising big benefits for Australian biotech, IT and pharmaceutical firms. The agreement also allows Australian healthcare providers to establish hospitals and aged-care facilities in China, which could lead to a cash bonanza for those willing to invest in the massive market.
The HIMSS standards are used by many Chinese hospitals to assess their level of information technology maturity and adoption of international practices. The evaluation goes beyond IT to consider healthcare outcomes: how well systems serve both patients and care providers. The Beijing private hospital is a showcase of what digital systems can achieve.
“Beijing United Family Healthcare has a long history of applying information technology to support healthcare provision,” Evaluation Panel Leader for HIMSS Analytics John Daniels said.
“By using a single EMR it has benefited from easy access to data, the ability to share patient information, and the integration of clinical and administrative systems.”