24 Nov 2010 12:54

Guangdong hospitals to share check-up data

Shanghai. November 24. INTERFAX-CHINA - Guangdong's health department announced Nov. 23 that some 52 grade-three hospitals in the province will start sharing medical checkup data from Jan. 1 next year.

The hospitals will share data from six categories, namely clinical biochemical examinations, clinical immunological examinations, clinical microbiological examinations, cytological examinations, and tests which use radioactive techniques and large-scale medical equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) technology.

Data will not be shared in serious medical cases where doctor-patient confidentiality is protected.

The new measure aims to promote the efficient use of medical resources and reduce medical expenses for patients. It will be expanded to include data from more checkup categories in the future, the bureau said.

The department said the initiative would be taken further in the future, and asked city health bureaus to promote data sharing in grade-two and grade-three hospitals under their administration.

By end-2009, Guangdong had a total of 340 grade-two and 82 grade-three hospitals.

Hospitals in China are classified into three grades and grade three is the top category. Institutions are also ranked within each grade as class A or class B depending on their quality and size.

Some hospitals in China started to share checkup data on a trial basis in 2005, but the initiative has progressed slowly. Introducing data sharing among medical institutions of the same grade is part of China's heath care reform plan for 2009 to 2011.

- KZ