Breaking the Dilemma of Disproportionate Healthcare Resources and Demands and Making “Treatment for Serious Diseases Available in Every County”: Search of Far East Horizon (FEH) for an Innovative Healthcare Model
Clutching a stack of crumpled train tickets, Li Deyong, a farmer from Nayong County, Guizhou, talked about his tortuous experience seeking medical help:
A few years ago, a swelling pustule on his right leg completely changed his life. At the county hospital, which was not qualified for standard pathological examinations, the doctors were not sure about the nature of the lump.
Without any other choice, Li went to Guiyang, Chongqing and Chengdu and had to suffer several twists and turns before having a confirmed diagnosis: what he got was a very rare type of malignant skin tumour. In the end, when he underwent a successful surgery to remove the growing tumour at a hospital in Beijing, a count of his train tickets showed he had traveled for more than 10,000km.
His tortuous experience seeking medical help was yet another example of how unbalanced the healthcare resources were between urban and rural areas and how difficult it was for common people to access medical services.
Seeking to Break the Dilemma of Unbalanced Urban and Rural Healthcare Resources Distribution
As far as we know, the areas in the direst need of healthcare resources are the vast majority of prefecture-level cities, counties and villages under the jurisdiction of third- or fourth-tier cities. They are populated by more than 60% of China’s total population, which means that they represent the majority of the people.
As we make progress on economic and social fronts, the CPC and the state elevated “a healthy China” into a national strategy after the 18th CPC National Congress. In the 13th Five-Year Plan, the state clarified a hierarchical diagnosis and treatment system in conformity with our national conditions to optimize the distribution of healthcare resources and to “work to achieve the goal of making available treatment of serious diseases in every county and treatment of minor ailments in every village.”
Had Li caught the disease a few years later, or even now, the medical services he could receive would have been much better. It is because in the past two years, as a response to the state’s strategic guidelines for the healthcare sector, a few aspiring medical institutions have been taking advantage of the opportunity and extending the coverage of their medical technologies from only the first- and second-tier cities to their third- and fourth-tier counterparts and the areas under their jurisdiction in an orderly and measured manner.
In the field of comprehensive health, FEH has been striving to make its contribution. Convinced in its mission of “contributing to the development of China’s healthcare industry and keeping in our heart the health of the nation,” and sticking to the company’s “finance + industry” development strategy, the healthcare group under FEH has long been exploring in the healthcare sector and contributing to the upgrading of China’s healthcare industry
In Hospital Operation
FEH hospitals are mainly located in third- or fourth-tier cities and the vast areas under their jurisdiction. After years of development, it has succeeded in creating a massive hospital group comprised of up to 50 member institutions.
Relying on the platform and on the basis of its nation-wide network, FEH is seeking to deliver the higher-calibre healthcare resources of the country to the most remote areas.
Creating a Remote Pathological Diagnosis Network
In the process of medical treatment, pathological examination is a central part. It refers to the pathomorphological examination of a lesion section taken from the patient to ascertain pathological process undergone by his or her organ, tissue or cells.
The eventual diagnosis of any disease is dependent on a correct pathological diagnosis. It is known as a “golden standard” for disease diagnosis.
However, in China, the underdeveloped pathological researches make it even more difficult for the healthcare system in remote areas to develop. Due to the illogical and unbalanced distribution of healthcare resources, the vast majority of county-level and municipal-level hospitals under the jurisdiction of third- and fourth-tier cities are hardly competent enough to conduct pathological diagnosis. The existence of issues like non-standard sectioning and X-ray filming practices directly undermines the effectiveness of clinical diagnosis and treatment and hampers the development of clinical departments, which in turn results in the diminishing number of patients and departments and revenue and renders it even more difficult to recruit high-calibre pathologists.
To address the issue, FEH, with its nation-wide hospital network, initiated the strategic idea of “One System, One Network and One Hospital Group” and, with pathology as its major field of research, founded a pathological division and pathological centres at all levels.
By establishing a vertical system, FEH succeeded in building a system and mechanism of healthcare resources sharing and a preliminary development model: “X-ray Filming at Standard Regional Centres + Remote Diagnosis.”
The “X-ray Filming at Standard Regional Centres + Remote Diagnosis” model, simply put, means that, with a network of up to 50 medical institutions, FEH has built a number of regional remote pathological diagnosis centres by district and by level, in each of which the patient can have access to standard pathological examination services. From there, the data will be uploaded to its cloud network so that prestigious pathologists can discuss the case for a rapid and accurate pathological diagnosis.
A Standard Treatment and Diagnosis Mechanism
Through researches, operational management and customized and standard equipment, FEH can exercise exact control over pathological diagnosis process, regulatory standards and diagnosis criteria to align its equipment, staff training and pathological technical operation standards.
An Echelon of Professionals
By building a team of top-notch pathologists headed by Professor Song Fulin, member of the standing committee of the Pathological Commission , FEH created a talent pool of top pathologists from across the country to offer support in resource to the entire system with a galaxy of top-notch professionals that far exceed the demands from remote areas. By gradually improving its personnel training chain covering field activities, training bases and prestigious tutors, FEH has contributed a massive team of experienced, erudite and professional pathologists and experts in other disciplines.
Intensive Resource Management
Taking advantage of its own resources, and through centralized procurement, systematic management and regional networks, FEH aligned its medical equipment brands, models and application procedures and its personnel training, recruitment and management mechanism to optimize the allocation of its superior medical resources.
Advantages of Its Information-based Platform
With pathological data collected through a standard process, FEH will use digital scanning technologies and network-based transmission channels to realize barrier-free data circulation as powerful support for pathological diagnosis, consultation of specialists and construction of a system and network.
With the establishment of its pathological diagnosis model, FEH will be able to deliver systematic solutions to address the demand for pathological diagnosis at hospitals in remote areas in third- and fourth-tier cities, significantly improve their diagnosis accuracy and, through the autonomous circulation of professionals, resources and technologies at such hospitals, enhance the development of clinical disciplines with pathological services to give a strong impetus to their full upgrading of remote hospitals.
The “Grand Scheme” of the Future
As an ancient saying goes, “those who are really good at chess seek advantages in the general momentum, while those who are not seek advantages in single pieces.”
Looking at the “grand scheme” of the Chinese healthcare sector, FEH will never restrict its vision and progress to minor achievements. Setting its sights on the “bigger picture,” FEH will seek to build a cross-regional pathological diagnosis network, starting from a few single service points and expanding to wider areas, to extend the coverage of its top-notch resources to the whole country as an attempt to make its contribution to the improvement of healthcare services at remote hospitals.
FEH to Steadily Build a Regional Network of Diagnosis Centres
In the future, the regional remote pathological diagnosis centres will be built at three levels: specialist bases, provincial centres and district-or county-level centres.
Specifically, the district- or county-level diagnosis centres will be responsible for basic pathological examination services and provincial centres important examination items that require centralized measures to build on its capacity for the entire service chain and coverage of surrounding areas. As for the specialist bases, they will be equipped with the best software and hardware resources, recruit top professionals and create nationally leading laboratories to offer data support to the entire network.
FEH to Enhance the Establishment of an Industrial Network in Pathology
In the future, by virtue of its advantages in standardization and centralization and on the basis of satisfying the healthcare demands of its hospital group, FEH will extend the coverage of its resources and capacity to more external medical institutions.
Ultimately, it will build an industrial brand, deliver pathological solutions, integrate top-notch pathological resources, establish standards for the discipline of pathology, and grow into a pioneer and leader in related disciplines.
Change is in the air
Amid a surging tide, a tight schedule bears witness to our determination to enhance the development of a pathological network:
The Regional Remote Pathological Diagnosis Centre of its Nayong Xinli Hospital was founded;
The Regional Remote Pathological Diagnosis Centre of the Fifth Hospital of Deyang was founded;
The Pathological Department of FEH Hospital Group was founded;
The Regional Remote Pathological Diagnosis Centre of Siyang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine was founded;
An ontological specialists consultation centre and a remote pathological consultation centre were founded by FEH in Shenyang and will serve as our specialist bases in the norther China.
FEH will build regional remote pathological diagnosis centres in its other 20 hospitals...
Change is quietly brewing in the air.
At Nayong Xinli Hospital, a patient, who just had a prostate needle biopsy, is waiting for the pathological diagnosis by the prestigious experts from the cloud server. At a hospital less than one kilometer away from their home, local patients can have access to the most accurate and reassuring diagnosis from 1,000km away.
The day is not far off. It is arriving.