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U.S. Company to Implement Health IT Systems in China

Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, July 21, 2009

A partnership between a U.S. information technology services company and the Chinese government has the potential to play a big role in China's goal to revamp its national healthcare system, proponents say.

Under an agreement with the Hunan Provincial Government of the People's Republic of China, Plano, TX-based Perot Systems Corporation will provide IT consulting services for healthcare organizations and public health initiatives throughout the Province.

Working with the Provincial Government and in alignment with China's national healthcare reform, Perot Systems will establish the Regional Health Information Platform of Hunan Province, beginning in its capital city of Changsa.

Ben Zhou, MD, director of Perot Systems Healthcare China and Asia Pacific Perot Systems, says improving healthcare IT has the ability to improve healthcare overall in a country.

"We believe technology would transform the workflow and business process in healthcare delivery and care management, where clinicians, healthcare providers, and payers could focus more on people instead of process," Zhou says. "We know from our deep experience in the U.S. healthcare market that health IT can improve the quality of care, lower costs, and enhance safety."

Earlier this year, China announced a plan to provide all citizens with access to healthcare and invest 850 billion yuan ($125 billion) over the next three years to revamp the system. Under the plan, the government would have greater control of medical costs and access to care would improve through expanded insurance and cooperative medical programs. Rural areas are a particular focus of China's reform efforts, and the government promised to build 700,000 facilities to give every village a medical clinic and every county at least one hospital.

And this is only the beginning, as these are the first steps in a 10-year plan to reform the Chinese health system, according to the Chinese government. The ultimate goal is to extend medical services to all its citizens by 2020.

Under the terms of the agreement, Perot Systems will prepare to design, construct, and implement the Human Province's healthcare information exchange network. This network will include a regional health IT platform that includes electronic health records.

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