By Jiang Nan, People’s Daily
A remote platform is now connecting the ICUs of the Taijiang County People’s Hospital in southwest China’s Guizhou province and the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in east China’s Zhejiang province.
On the platform, a patient surnamed Li who suffered severe pancreatitis introduced his previous treatment to Li Jiangtao, a pancreatologists of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, in the Guizhou ICU.
Upon discussion, Li Jiangtao approved the treatment adopted by the county hospital, and said to determine follow-up treatment plans based on further observation.
Two weeks later, the patient was discharged from hospital. “Having such a severe disease, I must have been transferred out-of-town to a major hospital for treatment in the past. Thanks to the experts from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, I’m cured at home,” he said.
The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine started offering pair assistance for the Taijiang County People’s Hospital since 2016. As of Nov. 2020, the Zhejiang hospital has sent over 70 experts to the county hospital in Guizhou in 44 batches. There are 8 to 12 doctors from Zhejiang working in the county hospital each month. In addition, short-term guidance is also offered randomly.
Medical pair assistance has been carried out extensively in Guizhou province over the recent years. Under the assistance of quality medical resources from the east, the medical capability of Guizhou province has been tremendously improved.
Since 2009, Zhejiang’s and Guizhou’s health departments established pair assistance mechanism. So far, pair assistance has been offered by 118 hospitals in Zhejiang province to 105 medical institutions in 9 cities and prefectures in Guizhou.
Last June, the two sides signed a fourth round of framework agreement for medical pair assistance. The agreement will further consolidate previous achievements in medical pair assistance, improve the treatment capabilities and comprehensive strength of the aid-receivers in Guizhou, and enhance specialty development of the hospitals that receive assistance in an all-round manner.
Wang Jian’an, top management of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, has led expert teams of cardiovascular disease to Taijiang county for times. He offered demonstration courses on cardiac intervention surgery, and helped the Taijiang hospital establish a cardiovascular intervention center. Patients in severe conditions in Taijiang can receive treatment guidance from and be monitored 24 hours a day by the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine through the remote platform.
A one-on-one tutorial system has been formulated between Zhejiang experts and the backbone doctors of the Taijiang County People’s Hospital, which helped establish an outstanding medical team consisting of gastroenterologists, gynecologists and cardiologists for the Taijiang hospital over the past 4 years.
The doctors from the Taijiang County People’s Hospital are also invited to Zhejiang for further study. Pan Nianze, an internist with the Taijiang hospital successfully performed continuous renal replacement therapy for a patient after returning from Zhejiang. He said without the expertise, the patient would have been transferred out-of-town, which might not only miss the best rescuing time, but also further increase the medical cost.
In 2017, only 5 percent of the patients received by the Taijiang County People’s Hospital were transferred to other hospitals, down by 40 percent from a year ago. The numbers of patients received by the hospital’s outpatient and emergency departments improved 28 percent and 18 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Meanwhile, the hospital also performed 25 percent more surgeries from a year ago.