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Clinical pathways implemented in half of China's public hospitals

(Xinhua)

09:32, May 15, 2012

BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Nearly half of China's public-funded hospitals had implemented clinical pathways by the end of 2011, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Monday.

According to the MOH, China has designed clinical pathways for 331 diseases under 22 disciplines since the 2009 implementation of clinical pathways on a trial basis in public hospitals.

Clinical pathways are tools used to manage the quality of health care through the standardization of care processes and the reduction of variability in clinical practice.

Vice Minister of Health Ma Xiaowei said the clinical pathways are also paving the way for further reforms in China's medical payment system, thus helping to control medical costs.

The current payment system, a fee-for-service system, is believed to have encouraged an excessive number of prescriptions and increased medical costs.

In 2009, the Chinese government kicked off a new round of health care reforms, aiming to provide universal and affordable medical services to the country's 1.3 billion people.

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