Saturday, April 20, 2024

Shed Light on China’s Integrated Health Management System Policy Evolution and Challenges

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The Integrated Health Management System (IHMS), which brings together all healthcare-related institutions within a health-centered organizational framework, is of significant importance to China as it seeks to advance its hierarchical treatment system and enhance its new healthcare reform. The Integrated Health Management System policy in China is composed of multiple policies at different levels and at different times. However, a comprehensive interpretation and analysis of these policies are lacking, causing potential hindrances to the further development of the IHMS in China.

In a bid to fully comprehend the characteristics, development, and evolution of China’s IHMS policy, a study was conducted to inform the design and improvement of the system. The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were adhered to to collect 152 policy documents. A comprehensive 6D framework was established, focusing on policy tools and policy orientation, to analyze the policies.

Integrated Health Management System

Assessing China’s Integrated Health Management System Policy Landscape: Trends and Policy Recommendations

The study revealed that China’s IHMS policy was more inclined to use environment-based policy tools, indicating a need for balance in the internal structure of policy tools. It also showed that the participation of physicians and residents needs further improvement. Differences were also noted on a regional level, with Shanghai’s IHMS policy using fewer demand-based policy tools and the national IHMS policy, along with those of other provinces, using fewer supply-based tools. Shanghai was noted to be leading in the development of healthy communities and healthy China initiatives.

The study also highlighted an evolutionary trend in the use of various policy tools from 2014 to 2021. There was an increase and then a decrease, with a greater use of environment-based policy tools and less use of demand-based policy tools in the past three years. The growth of China’s Integrated Health Management System policy has been divided into three stages: the disease-centered period (2014-2017), the e-health technology development period (2017-2019), and the health-centered period (2018-2021).

The results of the study suggest that policymakers need to make several adjustments, including coordinating policy tools and the uneven relationships among stakeholders, understanding key policy priorities in the context of local characteristics, and focusing on horizontal, multidimensional integration of health resources starting from the community. The study offers an expanded view of policy research and provides a framework for policy analysis that can be helpful for future policy formulation and optimization.


Original Article DOI: 10.2196/47197

Original title: Understanding the Integrated Health Management System Policy in China From Multiple Perspectives: Systematic Review and Content Analysis

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