What spark will burst out when a "century-old prestigious hospital" meets the “smart new force"?

Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, formerly known as Wilis F. Pierce Memorial Hospital, was merged by Fuzhou Shengjiao Hospital founded in 1860 and Magaw Memorial Hospital established in 1877, and is now the place of origin of modern medical science in Fujian.

Located at the foot of the beautiful Yushan Mountain in the center of Fuzhou, our hospital now has 2,500 beds and nearly 2 million outpatients per year. By virtue of comprehensive strength, we are rated as “China's Top 100 Hospitals with Strong Comprehensive Strength”, “China's Top 100 Hospitals with Science and Technology Influence", and "China's Most Competitive · Top 100 Hospitals".

Century-old Union Hospital makes changes and innovates

At the 2019 Information Network Congress of China Hospital Association (CHIMA), Hu Zhijian, Director of Department of Information Management of Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, delivered a keynote speech of Construction of a Multidisciplinary Tele-Consultation Platform Based on Smart Hospital Clinical Data Center. According to Director Hu Zhijian's on-site introduction, based on the construction standards such as the national rating of electronic medical records and interconnection, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital has constructed into a smart hospital with an integrated platform, a clinical data center, medical big data, mobile medical care, and various knowledge base systems. After nearly two decades of development, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital has formed a complete medical information system with electronic medical records as the core, realized the query with patients as the main index by using time as the horizontal axis and events as the vertical axis, and achieved the access to the data of each system in a unified portal system.

Fully Integrated Smart Wards

As emphasized by National Health and Family Planning Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Action Plan for Further Improvement of Medical Services (2018-2020), “the construction of smart hospitals is a key part of deepening the medical reform, an effective means to improve the quality of medical services and the efficiency of medical services, and the basic work to enhance the general public's sense of medical health. We should attach vital significance, effectively strengthen the organization and leadership, clarify the goals and responsibilities, increase input of funds, and actively facilitate the construction of smart hospitals."

Director Hu Zhijian introduced: "Compared with traditional wards, smart wards can realize active risk detection, timely warning and early intervention, and observe and control patients’ conditions in a more safe, fast, accurate and systematic approach."

In fact, many hospitals have been exploring the construction of smart hospitals in recent years, and have also tried many products and solutions. In view of an increasing number of information systems in hospitals, is an organic whole formed?

In the construction of smart wards, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital mainly proceeds from four aspects:

1. Smart Ward Interactive Platform

During work, medical care personnel may need to turn on at least 4 or more systems at the same time to successfully find the desired information. It is even more impossible to see patient-related data to be updated in real time. In a sense, this runs counter to the goal of ensuring patient safety and raising work efficiency. How can all medical staff quickly, accurately and comprehensively understand the conditions of patients in the entire ward and individual patients?

As the information center of smart wards, the smart ward interactive platform solves the problems of information sharing and visual interface. For the purpose of managing patients’ safety, the platform realizes the real-time interconnection of patient data in the ward. A system can carry more than ten systems and six business scenarios, realize timely reminder, real-time monitoring, and inquiry at any time, and avoid patient safety incidents caused by untimely information acquisition, incomplete information, and poor communication.

2. Patient Identity Recognition

Nurse Digital Assistant (NDA) is used to help nurses quickly fulfill tasks such as three examinations, seven checks, scan operation and sign input, ensure medical safety, and upgrade medical quality and work efficiency.

3. Intelligent Infusion Management

Through a sensor, the patients’ infusion information is connected with the smart ward interactive platform. The medical staff can check the drip rate and residual volume of patients’ infusion at any time. The system intelligently reminds the time to withdraw needles, the infusion abnormality, and other situations, and facilitates nurses to implement the whole process of closed-loop infusion management including delivering doctor's advice, preparing fluid and implementing infusion, thereby ensuring the safety of infusion more effectively and improving efficiency of operations.

4. Bedside Information Intelligent Interaction

Based on the Internet of Things middleware platform, the system uses electronic screens to replace the traditional paper bedside cards and display the patient information and care label information in real time. Nurse stations, nursing wards, corridors, toilets, etc. are integrated into one, so that patients and their families can call the nurse station anytime, anywhere, quickly reach communication, and meet the requirements of the objects of nursing in a timely manner.

Establish A Tele-consultation Alliance

The solution to the “difficulty to receive medical treatment” generally concerned by the masses is the focus of China's medical and health work. The most realistic method is to adopt a tiered diagnosis and treatment system. China is stepping up efforts to promote the sinking of high-quality resources and the shifting of priority of work, further rationally adjust medical and health resources, and rationally divert patients.

Director Hu Zhijian said in his speech: “When constructing a tele-consultation platform in Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, the overall construction ideas and methods have been well thought out. First, a long-term mechanism must be established to achieve data interconnection and information sharing; advanced technologies such as cloud computing, the Internet and big data are used as support; a flexible access architecture is constructed to achieve co-building and sharing as a whole and access anytime, anywhere. The manner of construction is to establish a tele-consultation information platform, provide tele-consultation services through the platform, and establish a tele-consultation alliance.”

So far, the platform has worked with 40 medical institutions in Fujian Province to form a tele-consultation alliance.

How to solve the problem of tele-consultation data sharing is a concern of many people. Director Hu mentioned that, the first should be to solve the interconnection of patient data and form a unified, standard and integrated visual interface.

In recent years, construction ideas have been proposed for the standard information sharing system from the national level. Fujian Medical University Union Hospital recently passed the Level 4 Grade A assessment of interconnection maturity. According to the standards issued by the state, the hospital has established more than 3,000 data elements, more than 140 value range dictionaries, and 70 data sets. 53 shared documents are established based on the sharing document specifications for electronic medical records. Data is collected to form a unified clinical data center, which can realize the sharing of electronic medical record information, facilitate medical staff to fully understand and historically compare the patients’ condition, more accurately assist diagnosis and treatment, and improve medical quality.

Endless ideas in the future

There is a long way to go in the construction of a smart hospital, such as asset positioning and management, vital signs collection, smart medicine cabinets, and material management.

In the end, Director Hu Zhijian expressed his vision and hope in the construction of a smart hospital.

Three “unified”: Unified system architecture, unified standard data, and unified electronic medical record database;

Three “for”: Improve medical services for patients, integrate resources for medical treatment, and supervise businesses for management;

Three “support”: Support information integration, continuous improvement, and expansion innovation;

Three “improve”: Improve the level of medical services, the quality of medical care, and management standards.