19 Aug 2009 14:24

MoH establishes clinical pathway expert committee

Shanghai. August 19. INTERFAX-CHINA - The Ministry of Health (MoH) has set up an expert committee to look into implementing clinical pathways in Chinese hospitals, it announced on Aug. 18.

According to the announcement, the committee, consisting of 10 experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering as well as 204 clinical experts, will be responsible for examining the applicability of clinical pathways and guiding their implementation in Chinese hospitals on a trial basis.

The clinical pathway concept first emerged in the United States in 1985 and is a multidisciplinary management tool used to enhance health care quality by standardizing health care processes. Clinical pathways are much more detailed than disease treatment guidelines.

Wang Yu, director of the MoH's medical policy division was quoted as saying in the announcement that clinical pathways can facilitate the implementation of the diagnosis-related group (DRG) system, a patient classification system to control medical expenses, and help promote reasonable medical insurance reimbursement.

Since 2001, the MoH has entrusted the Chinese Medical Association to compile guidelines for clinical diagnosis and treatment as well as standards on clinical procedures that will provide the basis for the implementation of clinical pathways. To date, the MoH has formulated clinical pathways for nearly 100 types of diseases, of which 18 have been finalized.

The health care reform work plan for 2009 issued by the State Council on July 23 this year stipulates that China will conduct trials for the implementation of clinical pathways for 100 common diseases in 50 hospitals this year.