West China, covered by plateaus, hills and mountains, is famous for its complex geographical environment and. It has 12 provinces, autonomous regions & direct-controlled municipalities, and almost 900 counties (cities & districts) with land accounting for 71.5% land area of China. The special geological environment determines that most people, especially the rural population in underdeveloped area, still use railway and highway as main transportation. Comparatively, the western area of China has a total population of about 380 million, accounting for 29% of the national gross population. Sichuan Province has a population of 81.402 million by 2014, ranking the first in Western China. Also Sichuan has 21 over-one-million-population counties. However, high-quality medical resources mainly concentrate in large & medium-sized cities and there are great gaps of medical care quality for hospitals at different levels. Inadequacy and unbalanced distribution of medical resources, especially the shortage of continuing medical education and medical experts, are the major pressures for grass-roots hospitals. Therefore, improving medical treating and diagnostic techniques of all levels of hospitals, cutting patients’ medical expenses while enjoying higher-quality medical services have been the urgent needs for decades. The Telemedicine Center of WCH was designed exactly for this mission.
The Telemedicine Center of West China Hospital, located at 9/F, Information Building, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, is operated and managed by the hospital’s Public Affairs Department.Since 2001, the hospital established the West China Telemedicine Network covering most areas of Western China through self-developed software and equipment and in virtue of cheap broadband access mode, and founded the Telemedicine Center. In October 2008, it became a nation-level long-distance continuing medical education pilot institution. In December 2011, it formally became a national level long-distance continuing medical education institution. The center gives full play to interdisciplinary advantage of West China Hospital, integrates nearly one thousand medical and education experts from domestic first-class medical institutions such as West China Hospital, West China Second Hospital, West China Dental Hospital, Public Health School of West China Hospital, provides long-distance consultation and long-distance continuing medical education services, combines with necessary clinical skill training to improve the whole medial service level and management level of all kinds of hospitals at all levels in the West China Telemedicine Network.Through development for the past 14 years, the West China Telemedicine Network have covered 10 provinces, autonomous regions & direct-controlled municipalities in western China including Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Chongqing, Tibet, Ningxia, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi& Xinjiang as well as Jiangxi Province, Guangdong Province and Hainan Province in southern China, involving in more than 100 regions and benefiting over 200 million persons. At present, 572 Telemedicine network alliance hospitals have joined in this network, including 74 municipal hospitals, 338 county hospitals and 160 health clinics in towns & townships. It cooperates with primary hospitals at all levels to carry out talent training and medical health service in multiple forms of remote consultation, remote education, service reservation and referral, advanced study, on-site guidance, etc. So far, it has completed long-remote education for about 1700 times and more than 3400 class hours. And the education contents cover all level 3 clinical subjects. It has totally trained various medical personnel at all levels for 2.1 million person-times, and has provided long-distance consultation service for more than 14000 difficult critically ill patients in remote areas and earthquake disaster regions.
The Telemedicine Center of West China Hospital provides following services for West China Telemedicine Network Alliance Hospitals:ØRemote Medical Education① Bi-directional video real-time interactive clinical disease entities teaching lecture is the main mode of the center for remote continuing educational training. Teaching period: 11 months and average 420 class hours per year; teaching time: 15:45-17:00. from Monday to Friday; ② Bi-directional Video Real-time Interactive General Practitioner Training Seminar: It is a specific teaching training for general practitioners of all primary hospitals joining in this network formulated in accordance with national general practitioner training needs and supplemented by clinical skill training; two times per week at 14:30-15:30.③ Remote Education Resource Library Courseware On-demand Learning: New clinical progress, intractable case discussion, classical surgery, resident doctor training, hospital nurse practitioner training, hospital technician training, etc. are recorded and edited as courseware, which is provided to the Telemedicine hospitals for learning on demand, letting medical personnel at various regions participate in distance continuing medical education study more flexibly.ØRemote Medical ConsultationThe Center can provide 24h bi-directional video real-time interactive remote consultation service through which medical records can be transmitted and referred rapidly. According to actual demands of the Telemedicine hospitals joining in this network, the remote consultation service can be divided into the following modes: 1. Elective consultation; 2. Emergency consultation; 3. Appointed consultation; 4. Multi-department consultation.Remote continuing medical education and remote medical consultation cover all clinical specialties such as internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, infectious disease department, rehabilitation department, medical, technician, oral and mental diseases, and meanwhile, the public education courses such as hospital operation management, hospital quality management and public health education training are set up. ØRemote Consultation ReferralIn 2014, the referral function was additionally set up in our remote system by our hospital according to actual demands of the Telemedicine hospitals and fully opened to West China Telemedicine Network Alliance Hospitals. Any difficult critically ill patient can realize referral with the help of remote network medical platform if a referral index is confirmed through expert consultation of our hospital.
Telemedicine Center of West China Hospital was formally established in 2001. Bazhong People’s Hospital, as the first hospital joining in this network, opened remote consultation and remote education in August, 2001. lThe center was determined as “Sichuan Public Health Emergency Remote Medical Consultation Center” by Sichuan Health Department in May, 2003.lThe center was approved as “West China Telemedicine Education Center of Chinese Medical Doctor Association” on September 28, 2004.lZunyi People’s Hospital was formally founded on November 15, 2005, which was the first remote hospital established by our hospital in Guizhou Province.lIn July 2006, our hospital opened on-line reservation register for partial Telemedicine Network Alliance Hospitals as pilots, which was the first hospital to open online reservation register in China.lIn August 2007, West China Remote Continuing Medical Education Project had the honor to get the Award of Excellence in Human Resource Development Category of Asian Hospital Management Awards, which also was the unique project wining award in all medical institutions declared in China Mainland, Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan, and it was the first time for West China Hospital to get the Asian Hospital Management Awards.lTelemedicine Center of West China Hospital accepted comprehensive assessment of about 10 experts from the expert group of Ministry of Health (including assessment on remote teaching site) in September 2008, and obtained the national level remote continuing medical education pilot institution qualification in October, 2008. lMrs. Margaret Chan, secretary-general of World Health Organization came to Telemedicine Center of West China Hospital for visiting and guidance and conducted a “face-to-face” dialogue communication with medical staff of a hospital located in earthquake severely afflicted area, had an in-depth understanding for the role of West China Telemedicine Network in treating and cuing the wounded from the earthquake area as well as the continuing education acceptance situation with the help of West China Telemedicine Network.lIn 2009, West China Hospital established West China Telemedicine System for 286 basic-level medical institutions in the disaster area for free and provided remote continuing medical education and remote consultation service for the patients having difficult and complicated diseases under great supports of Hongkong Government in order to promote medical health reconstruction in the disaster area after the Wenchuan Earthquake.lWest China Remote Continuing Medical Education Project passed comprehensive assessment of the experts group of Ministry of Health with assessment result of high scores, and West China Hospital was formally approved as a national level remote continuing medical education institution in December, 2011.lIn 2012, annual training person-time of West China Remote Continuing Medical Education firstly exceeded 300000 person-times, and cumulatively trained medical staff at all levels reached 2.1 million person-time; and remote consultation exceeded 14000 case times. Tel：028-85423564 85422248Fax：028-85422126 85422248E-mail: email@example.com