The Azerbaijan State News Agency


The Making of a “Smart Hospital” with Human Touch

Baku, May 10, AZERTAC

Stand at the age of thirty (The expression stems from Confucius and means that a man should become independent at the age of thirty. The same depth of implication could also be applied to the 30-year-old public hospital.)

The Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, affiliated with Zhejiang University School of Medicine (referred to as “Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital” hereafter) celebrated its 30th anniversary on May 2nd. In the blink of an eye, the hospital has risen from scratch and stood out among the national tertiary public hospitals over the past thirty years. It has established a single multi-hospital cooperative development pattern centered around six major hospital districts, going through a down-to-earth and extraordinary journey.

The performance assessment of the national tertiary public hospitals, known as the “National Exam,” was officially released just four months earlier on January 8th. Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital ranked ninth nationwide, achieving its best historical performance and consistently maintaining the top A++ rating for five consecutive years. Such a grade has secured its place in the top tier of national tertiary public hospitals.

Cai Xiujun, director of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, commented: “Large public hospitals are the backbone of the national healthcare system. As such, they should strengthen their sense of responsibility and undertake the mission of the times in advancing modernization with distinctive Chinese characters.” His words perfectly summarized the 30-year journey of such a “Smart Hospital” with warmth.

New Model of Medical Services “Subverting Public Perception”

A review of this hospital’s 30 years of development since its establishment on May 2nd 1994 reveals its uniqueness.

As the first comprehensive tertiary public hospital in mainland China funded by Mr. Run Run Shaw and subsided by the provincial government, the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital has not only achieved international management standards but also created the industry-renowned “Shaw Medical Model” based on China’s national medical conditions and the actual needs of patients. This model includes pioneering medical service methods such as “no infusion in outpatient services”, “no extra beds in wards”, “one patient, one consultation room” and “centralized scheduling of auxiliary examinations”. It also includes innovative management mechanisms, such as the primary physician responsibility system and the establishment of an admission preparation center, which have caught the attention of the medical community.

A set of data may better illustrate the appeal of the “Shaw Medical Model”: the nation’s first admission preparation center significantly has increased bed turnover rate, with the latest average length of stay being 4.74 days; the hospital offers 340 day surgery types covering 15 clinical departments and has been selected into the first batch of “National Demonstration Hospitals for Standardized Management of Day Medical Services List” by the National Health Commission; nearly 100 quality improvement projects are carried out annually, optimizing 227 clinical pathways…The hospital is also committed to transforming nursing positions into “expertise-based” roles, with a nurse turnover rate of only 1.57%—significantly lower than that of hospitals at the same level nationwide.

Additionally, the nationally innovative rapid-switching ward which could cope with both epidemic and normal situations is another management innovation by Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital.

Addressing the issue of high vacancy rates in infectious disease facilities across most regions nationwide after the COVID-19 pandemic, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital has made crucial changes in its newly built Phase 5 building. By installing “isolation doors” and “positive and negative pressure devices” in wards as well as adjusting functional layouts to achieve seamless and rapid switching between general and infectious disease wards, it has resolved the dilemma of insufficient bed supply during an epidemic and wasted resources during normal times.

Rich Achievements in Core Breakthrough Technology

Recently, Ms. Lin, a patient suffering from low rectal cancer, rushed from Shandong to Hangzhou for medical treatment. She came to Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital for stent assisted intestinal bypass surgery. “If I have to wear a colostomy bag, I’d rather not get treated”, Ms. Lin said.

To prevent anastomotic leakage due to poor healing of the anastomosis after colorectal cancer surgery, a common method domestically and internationally adopted is to temporarily divert the intestines, leaving a colostomy bag on the patient’s body. However, this surgical method requires patients to live with a stoma for three to six months. Dean Cai Xiujun’s team spent more than ten years inventing a series of degradable stents and creating the “stent based intestinal bypass surgery”. These degradable stents protect the anastomotic site after low rectal cancer surgery, while avoiding secondary retraction surgery. This technology has broken the traditional surgical approach that has been used worldwide for nearly 170 years and has been successfully applied to nearly a thousand patients in multiple hospitals nationwide.

Over the past thirty years, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital has accelerated the development of key disciplines and core technology breakthroughs, achieving significant results. For example, it was the first hospital to introduce laparoscopic technology and the Da Vinci robot; it established the first “minimally invasive medicine” discipline in China and founded the “Belt and Road” Minimally Invasive Medical College. Related academic achievements have been published in top international journals such as Nature and Science……Currently, minimally invasive surgeries using scopes and robots make up 80% of all surgeries in the hospital, and the volume of robotic surgeries has been the highest nationwide for several consecutive years.

Nowadays, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital holds 250 invention patents and 1462 new utility model patents. The hospital’s projects funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China maintain an average annual growth rate of 20%. It has also been approved as a national clinical key specialty in six areas including general surgery. In 2021, the hospital led the establishment of the first national-level engineering research center in the field of minimally invasive technology—the National Engineering Research Center for Innovation and Application of Minimally Invasive Instruments—further strengthening its reputation in the discipline.

People-Oriented Principle Empowered by Technology

“At Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, the coupling gel applied during the ultrasound examination was pleasantly warm!” This is a message left by a patient on the hospital’s wall.

Details determine success. While continuously advancing medical technology, the hospital has also introduced several warm medical services: designing patient rooms in the wards to face the sun and along the Qiantang River, creating “sunshine wards” that heal the soul, and inventing room temperature and humidity sensing devices as well as the patented “noise intelligent monitoring and reminder device” to help patients rest and recover more effectively.

To optimize medical procedures and improve patients’ experience, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital launched its “Smart Hospital” initiative a decade ago, becoming a pioneer in “Internet plus” coordinated medical reform. In 2014, the hospital was the first in China to complete a mobile smart transformation of the entire medical service process, enabling all medical procedures to be completed using just a mobile phone. The hospital has also established China’s first smart medical cloud platform, “the Sir Run Run Shaw Internet Hospital” with a physical hospital as its support. This platform has accumulated access to more than 7800 domestic medical institutions and over 400000 active doctors. It independently developed a 5G plus AR remote emergency rescue system and launched the country’s first blockchain medical application based on a provincial public tertiary hospital.

The relevant explorations of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital have been actively recognized and promoted nationwide by the State Council’s Leading Group for Deepening Healthcare System Reform, the National Health Commission, and other departments. At the same time, the hospital has fully leveraged its international advantages, successfully completing medical security tasks for over 30 major international events such as the G20 Summit, the World Internet Conference, and the Hangzhou Asian (Para) Games.

In early 2023, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital officially proposed the strategic goal of “building a benchmark hospital for modernization with distinctive Chinese features”. As Director Cai Xiujun said, “We will take the 30th anniversary of the hospital as an opportunity, continue to aim for excellence, and strive to contribute the ‘Sir Run Run Shaw’ power to the construction of a healthy China”.

Author - LIN Feng

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