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Compliance with clinical pathways for inpatient care in Chinese public hospitals

  • Xiao Yan He1,
  • M. Kate Bundorf2,
  • Jian Jun Gu3,
  • Ping Zhou1 and
  • Di Xue1Email author
BMC Health Services Research201515:459

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-1121-8

Received: 11 December 2014

Accepted: 25 September 2015

Published: 6 October 2015

Abstract

Background

The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China has issued more than 400 clinical pathways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of medical care delivered by public hospitals in China. The aim of our study is to determine whether patient care is compliant with national clinical pathways in public general hospitals of Pudong New Area in Shanghai.

Methods

We identified the clinical pathways established by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China for 5 common conditions (community-acquired pneumonia, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, cesarean section, type-2 diabetes). We randomly selected patients with each condition admitted to one of 7 public general hospitals in Pudong New Area in China in January, 2013. We identified key process indicators (KPIs) for each pathway and, based on chart review for each patient, determined whether the patient’s care was compliant for each indicator. We calculated the proportion of care which was compliant with clinical pathways for each indicator, the average proportion of indicators that were met for each patient, and the proportion of patients whose care was compliant for all measures. For selected indicators, we compared compliance rates among hospitals in our study with those from other countries.

Results

Average compliance rates across the KPIs for each condition ranged from 61 % for AMI to 89 % for pneumonia. The percent of patient receiving fully compliant care ranged from 0 for AMI and heart failure to 39 % for pneumonia. Compared to the compliance rate for process indicators in the hospitals of other countries, some rates in the hospitals that we audited were higher, but some were lower.

Conclusions

Few patients received care that complied with all the pathways for each condition. The reasons for low compliance with national clinical pathways and how to improve clinical quality in public hospitals of China need to be further explored.

Keywords

Clinical pathway Compliance Chart audit Hospital

Background

Ensuring that hospitals consistently provide high quality care is a challenge facing policymakers and hospital administrators around the world. The quality of hospital care is an important issue for policy makers in China as patients are increasingly demanding higher quality care. A key component of national policies intended to improve quality of care has been the development and use of clinical pathways.

As in many other countries, the use of clinical pathways has increased rapidly in China in recent years. The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC, previously called “Ministry of Health”) of China has issued more than 400 clinical pathways [1]. Despite the emphasis placed on the use of pathways, there is little evidence on the extent to which Chinese hospitals provide care consistent with these pathways [2].

Clinical guidelines and pathways

Clinical guidelines are recommendations on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions [3]. Clinical pathways, in contrast, support the translation of clinical guidelines into local practice by identifying the specific steps necessary to translate the clinical guideline into practice in a particular local environment [4]. By linking evidence to clinical practice, the use of clinical pathways is intended to optimize patient outcomes and increase clinical efficiency [4].

In China, national medical associations generally create clinical guidelines and the NHFPC translates the guidelines into clinical pathways. In 2012, the NHFPC required every tertiary- and secondary-level hospital in China to implement at least 60 clinical pathways, with at least 40 from among the over 400 established by the NHFPC, although the hospitals may customize the pathways for their patients. In this study, we examine the extent to which the care provided by public hospitals in Shanghai is consistent with national clinical pathways.

Effects of clinical guidelines and pathways

Studies have documented an association between the use of clinical guidelines and pathways and positive outcomes including the provision of high-quality, cost-effective care, greater patient and staff satisfaction, and better resource management in a variety of clinical contexts [47]. Other studies have documented that the adoption of clinical pathways can reduce length of stay and decrease medical cost [810].

In this study, we document the clinical pathways established by the NHFCP for five clinical conditions: community-acquired pneumonia (“pneumonia”), AMI, heart failure, cesarean section, type-2 diabetes. Clinical guidelines or pathways have been shown to be effective in these clinical contexts. Guideline-concordant therapy for community-acquired pneumonia is associated with improved health outcomes and the use of fewer resources [11, 12]. Compliance with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) guidelines is associated with lower inpatient mortality [1315] and the implementation of a clinical pathway for heart failure was associated with improvements in care processes as well as reduced length of stay and hospital charges [16, 17]. A study of the implementation of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance regarding caesarean section documented lower rates of surgical site infection following caesarean section [18]. In the context of diabetes, the implementation of a process improvement effort using practice guidelines resulted in greater compliance with recommended HbA1c, lipid, blood pressure, and foot checks, leading to better control of blood pressure and lower body mass index (BMI) [19]. Despite the potential for adherence to clinical guidelines to reduce mortality and morbidity and decrease healthcare costs, there is substantial evidence that adherence to guidelines in clinical practice is often poor [13, 14, 2022].

In our analysis, we measure the extent to which the care patients received was compliant with the national clinical pathways for these conditions in public general hospitals of Pudong New Area in Shanghai. We identify key process indicators (KPIs) for each condition based on the clinical pathways and then determine whether the care of randomly selected patients with each condition was consistent with these indicators. We also compare performance on several clinical pathways with results from studies of other countries.

Our study is the first to document the extent to which public hospitals in China are adhering to national guidelines. The study provides important baseline information on the delivery of health care in Chinese public hospitals and the potential for improvements in health care quality.

Methods

Survey sample

We studied physician compliance with the national clinical pathways in all seven public, general hospitals in Pudong New Area of Shanghai. We chose to study 5 conditions: pneumonia, AMI, heart failure, cesarean section, and type-2 diabetes. These conditions were among the top ten in patient volume in all the surveyed hospitals and had national clinical pathways published by NHFPC [23].

Using hospital information systems, we identified all patients with a given diagnosis, based on inpatient international classification of diseases (ICD-10 or ICD-9) codes, admitted to each hospital during 2012 for each condition. To ensure that the sample was evenly distributed throughout the year, we randomly selected the first two inpatient admissions with an odd patient number for each condition in each month. If a hospital admitted fewer than 24 patients for a particular condition in 2012, then all the medical records for this condition were extracted for this hospital.

Data sources

We developed an audit chart for each of the five conditions based on the clinical pathways published by NHFPC. The audit chart identified the key process components in the clinical pathway, focusing on those both that were important determinants of quality of care and for which data was likely to be available in medical records. We then extracted data from the medical records corresponding to each item in the audit chart for each patient.

To ensure the quality and consistency of chart audit, we trained five researchers on the meanings of each item on the checklist and how to audit each chart. The researchers then observed two experts auditing charts to assess compliance for heart failure and cesarean section pathways in one hospital and subsequently audited the same charts the experts audited. The consistency between the experts and the researchers for these two conditions was 87 %.

For each admission, we also collected data on patient demographics and health status as well as some financial information from the hospital information systems (HIS) of the surveyed hospitals.

Selection of key process indicators

The national clinical pathways are very detailed and when we abstracted data, we tried to gather information on each step. When reporting the results, we chose to focus on the more clinically meaningful components of each pathway (see Additional file 1). For example, in the pneumonia pathway, we focused on severity assessment and corresponding treatment, appropriate use of antibiotics, health education, and appropriate length of stay. We did not include appropriateness of admission as a KPI. Similarly, for AMI, we focused on timely treatment and evaluation of left ventricular function, appropriate use of medicine (such as aspirin/clopidogrel, β-blocker, ACEI/ARB, statins), reperfusion therapy, thrombolytic therapy and health education, because they are life-saving and important for secondary disease preventions. We did not include length of stay for AMI due to the potential for differences across patients in appropriate length of stay.

Data analysis

We coded hospitals as compliant for an indicator only if the information was recorded in the medical record and the care was consistent with the clinical pathway or if the medical record included a reasonable explanation for not being compliant. For each KPI, we calculated the proportion of patients who received compliant care.

From this information, we also calculated two patient-level measures of compliance: 1) whether the patient received pathway compliant care for all indicators (fully compliant care) and 2) the proportion of KPIs that were met for the patient. We used these patient-level measures to calculate the proportion of patients receiving fully compliant care (full compliance rate) for each condition and the average of the proportion of KPIs that were met over all patients with a given condition (average compliance rate).

Ethics approval

This study was approved by Institutional Review Board, School of Public Health, Fudan University (IRB#2012-11-0383).

Consent statement

N/A for this retrospective study.

Results

The numbers of medical records audited across all hospitals in the study were 151, 97, 145, 146 and 137 for pneumonia, AMI, heart failure, caesarean section, and type-2 diabetes, respectively (Tables 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).
Table 1

Compliance rates for KPIs for inpatient care of pneumonia (n = 151)a

No

Key process indicators

No of Cases

Compliance rate (%)

1

Patient severity assessed

151

95

2

Severe patients (oxygen saturation <92 %) received blood gas analysis

151

70

3

Timeliness of sputum and blood culture

151

77

4

Timely and appropriate use of antibiotics within 4 h

150

92

5

Appropriate treatment update at 72 h

151

98

6

Antibiotic treatment is reasonable (7 ~ 14 days)

151

81

7

Received health education

151

98

8

Appropriate length of stay

151

100

 

Average

 

89

aKPIs key process indicators

Table 2

Compliance rates for KPIs for inpatient care of AMI (n = 97)a

No

Key process indicators

No of Cases

Compliance rate (%)

1

Timely use of aspirin or clopidogrel in appropriate dosage

95

68

2

Evaluation of left ventricular function within 24 h of admission

96

84

3

Reassessment of patient condition within one week before discharge

96

0

4

Reperfusion therapy

89

75

5

Thrombolytic therapy within 30 min of admission

97

5

6

PCI within 90 min of admission

97

0

7

Use of β-blocker within 60 min of admission

96

25

8

Use of aspirin during hospitalization

96

94

9

Use of β-blocker during hospitalization

97

73

10

USE of ACEI or ARB during hospitalizationb

97

73

11

Use of statins during hospitalization

97

93

12

Cholesterol test and lipid lowering therapy

97

27

13

Advised to continue to use aspirin after discharge

97

80

14

Advised to continue to use β-blocker after discharge

96

61

15

Advised to continue to use ACEI or ARB after discharge

94

65

16

Advised to continue to use statin after discharge

97

78

17

Advised to no smoking, having exercise, healthy eating, weight control, proper treatment of reoccurrence or worsening, etc.

97

85

18

Smoking cessation counseling

97

85

19

Provided with written instruction on secondary prevention in discharge summary

97

84

 

Average

 

61

aKPIs key process indicators

bACEI angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors,ARB:Angiotensin II receptor blockers

Table 3

Compliance rates for KPIs for inpatient care of heart failure (n = 145)a

No

Key process indicators

No of Cases

Compliance rate (%)

1

Assessment of left ventricular function within 24 h of admission

133

77

2

Assessment of left ventricular function 1 week prior to discharge

121

1

3

Timely use of diuretics and potassium agents

140

96

4

Timely use of ACEI or ARBb

145

87

5

Use of β-blockers only for patients with CHFc

133

20

6

Use of aldosterone receptor blockers only for patients with severe health failured

142

85

7

Continued use of diuretics during hospitalization

145

93

8

Continued use of ACEI or ARB during hospitalization

144

87

9

Continued use of β-blocker during hospitalization

129

53

10

Continued use of aldosterone receptor blockers during hospitalization

139

84

11

Advised to use diuretics after discharge

139

82

12

Advised to use ACEI or ARB after discharge

140

76

13

Advised to use β-blocker after discharge

126

54

14

Advised to use aldosterone receptor blockers after discharge

134

78

15

Record of heart failure education

145

100

16

Assessment of cardiac function and living ability, and guidance activities after admission

145

100

17

Proper observation of patients (including symptoms, vital signs, water balance, weight, edema), provision of laboratory tests, and advice on diet and body-position after admission.

144

100

18

Assessment of tobacco and alcohol addiction after admission and Patient advised to quit smoking and to restrict alcohol consumption

145

54

19

Patient received psychological counseling

145

59

20

Patient advised on activity limitations after discharge

144

100

21

Patient received dietary and body-position guidance prior to discharge

143

100

22

Patient advised to quit smoking and to restrict alcohol consumption prior to discharge

143

99

 

Average

 

78

aKPIs key process indicators

bACEI angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, ARB angiotensin II receptor blockers

cCHF chronic heart failure

dSevere heart failure refers to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) cardiac function proposed test (NYHA functional) III, IV level of the patients

Table 4

Compliance rates of KPIs for inpatient caesarean section (n = 146)a

No

Key process indicators

No of Cases

Compliance rate (%)

1

Appropriate indication for planned C-section

146

100

2

Preoperative examination completed within 2 days

146

99

3

Prophylactic use of first generation cephalosporin antibiotics

146

62

4

Withdraw of prophylactic antibiotics within 72 h after delivery

146

86

5

The timeliness of operation time

146

62

6

Delivery within 2 days of admission

146

62

7

Appropriate anesthesia

145

66

8

Appropriate use of oxytocin during procedure

146

81

9

Post-operative length of stay

143

99

10

In accordance with discharge standard

142

100

11

Patient received health education prior to discharge

144

89

 

Average

 

82

aKPIs key process indicators

Table 5

Compliance rates of KPIs for inpatient care of type-2 diabetes (n = 137)a

No

Key process indicators

No of Cases

Compliance rate (%)

1

Routine examination within 24 h after admission

137

100

2

Blood glucose monitoring 7 times per day

137

64

3

HbA1c test

137

91

4

Glycosylated Serum Protein (Fructosamine) test

136

55

5

OGTT and insulin or C peptide release testb

137

58

6

Eye fundus examination

137

62

7

Nerve system examination

137

39

8

Renal function examination

137

83

9

Heart ultrasound examination

137

72

10

Carotid artery and lower extremity vascular ultrasound examination

137

73

11

Blood glucose test analyzed

137

97

12

Evaluation at 72 h after hypoglycemic treatment

137

85

13

Record of drug selection reasons

137

99

14

Record of secondary prevention and health education provided to patient

137

98

15

In accordance with discharge standard

137

96

16

Appropriate length of stay

137

88

 

Average

 

79

aKPIs key process indicators

bOGTT oral glucose tolerance test

Compliance rates

Compliance rates for the KPIs for pneumonia ranged from 70 to 100 %. All the patients with pneumonia had appropriate length of stay according the pathway, but the compliance rate for “Severe patients (defined as oxygen saturation < 92 %) received blood gas analysis” was 70 %. The proportion of patients who received initial antibiotics properly within 4 h of hospital arrival in our study was 92 % (Table 1).

The compliance rates for the AMI KPIs ranged from 0 to 94 %. The lowest three compliance rates were for “Reassessment of patient condition within 1 week before discharge” (0 %), “PCI(percutaneous coronary intervention) within 90 min of admission” (0 %), and “Thrombolytic therapy within 30 min of admission” (5 %). In addition, the compliance rate for reperfusion therapy for STEMI(ST - segment elevation myocardial infarction) or LBBB(left bundle branch block) patients was 75 % and for using β-blocker within 24 h of admission was 67 %. Eighty percent, 61 and 65 % of AMI patients were advised to continue to use aspirin, β-blocker, and ACEI(angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor)/ARB (angiotensin receptor antagonist) after discharge, respectively. Forty-eight percent of inpatients without a contraindication of heart failure did not receive β-blockers (Table 2).

The compliance rates for the heart failure KPIs varied widely, ranging from 1 to 100 %. Rates were lowest for “Assessment of left ventricular function 1 week prior to discharge” (1 %) and for “Use of β-blockers only for patients with chronic heart failure” (20 %). In addition, the proportion of inpatients not using β-blockers without a documented reason was 48 % (Table 3).

The compliance rates for the caesarean section KPIs ranged from 62 to 100 %. The three KPIs with the lowest compliance rates were “The timeliness of operation time” (62 %), “Prophylactic use of first generation cephalosporin antibiotics” (62 %), and “Delivery within 2 days of admission” (62 %). The compliance rate for appropriate use of oxytocin (10ug or 20ug) during cesarean section was quite high (81 %) (Table 4).

The compliance rates for the type-2 diabetes KPIs ranged from 39 to 100 %. The three KPIs with the lowest compliance rates were “Nerve system examination” (39 %), “Glycosylated serum protein (Fructosamine) test” (55 %), and “Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and insulin or C peptide release test” (58 %). The compliance rate for HbA1c test was 91 % (Table 5).

The compliance rates for health education for all five diseases were relatively high (above 86 %) in the surveyed hospitals (Tables 1-5).

Full and average compliance rates

The proportion of patients who received fully compliant care was low for each of the five conditions in the surveyed hospitals, ranging from 0 % (AMI and heart failure) to 39 % (pneumonia). The average compliance rates of the KPIs ranged from 61 % (AMI) to 89 % (pneumonia). The compliance rates among the 5 selected conditions were significantly different (Table 6).
Table 6

Analysis on compliance rate for inpatient care

  

Full compliance rate

Average compliance rate

Indicators

No of KPIsa

Number of cases

Number of fully compliant cases

Percent (%)

Average number of cases for KPVs

Average cases that meet the requirement for KPVs

Percent (%)

Pneumonia

8

150

58

39

151

134

89

AMI

19

80

0

0

96

59

61

Heart failure

22

76

0

0

139

108

78

Caesarean

11

139

32

23

145

119

82

Type-2 diabetes

16

136

3

2

137

108

79

Total

76

581

93

16

668

528

79

χ 2

  

111.37***

  

27.45***

 

Pfisher’s exact test

  

1.560E-26

  

2.783E-05

 

***P < 0.01

aKPIs Key Process Indicators

Discussion

Compliance rates for the five conditions

The objectives of the use of clinical pathways are to improve quality of care, to reduce costs, and to decrease inappropriate variation in health care use [24, 25]. Our analysis shows, however, that the establishment of extensive pathways for Chinese hospitals has not led to highly compliant care. The proportion of patients receiving fully compliant care ranged from 0 % (for AMI and heart failure) to 39 % (for pneumonia). Average compliance rates across all indicators for patients with a given condition ranged from 61 % for AMI to 89 % for pneumonia.

In our study, we considered a hospital non-compliant for a particular indicator if the information was not available in the medical record. Thus while the lack of compliance for the KPIs we examined could be driven by non-compliant care, it could also be due to a lack of documentation. It is possible that the care patients receive may be more compliant with clinical pathways than our results suggest, and that hospitals could potentially improve their measured performance through better documentation.

It is also possible that our findings are influenced by the timing of the study. The national pathways were issued relatively recently in 2009 and the importance of adhering to pathways may not have been fully valued by hospital managers in 2012. A qualitative study of the use of clinical pathways in Chinese hospitals identified lack of leadership and support for implementing clinical pathways as barriers to compliance [26].

Low rates of compliance with clinical pathways could also reflect physician concerns over the quality of the pathway. The quality of clinical pathways is dependent upon the quality of the underlying evidence, and, for many clinical applications, the evidence base is inadequate. Even in situations with adequate evidence, clinical pathways could adversely affect patient care if the evidence is not translated effectively into the clinical pathways. In addition, simplistic clinical pathways may not accommodate heterogeneity of patients in practice. An alternative explanation for low rates of compliance is that, in some cases, physicians may believe that guideline compliant care is inappropriate for patients.

We note that we evaluated whether care was consistent with national pathways but did not evaluate whether the national pathways were appropriate. Similarly, hospitals were able to customize the national pathways for their local setting, providing another potential explanation for the deviations from the national pathways that we observed [22]. Determining the extent to which the pathways represent appropriate care is important for evaluating the desirability of increasing rates of compliance with national pathways.

Clinical pathways may also be difficult to implement. Physicians may be concerned that using clinical pathways will reduce their autonomy. Other barriers include a lack of incentives to change practice styles, unclear accountability for health outcomes, competing priorities, lack of resources, health funding constraints, regulation and patient factors (clinical contraindications or history of intolerance to a recommended medication, patient refusal), difficulty coordinating across providers and cultural barriers [6, 2630]. Correspondingly, studies generally document relatively low levels of compliance with clinical pathways although compliance level varies substantially across sites and across measures.

In our study, differences across conditions in the degree of compliance may have been driven by condition complexity. For example, in the case of pneumonia, treatment does not vary much across patients. In the case of AMI, in contrast, not only is treatment urgent, but guideline compliant care varies significantly across patients. Similarly, heart failure is more complex than cesarean section. Consistent with this explanation, we found the highest rates of non-compliance among AMI and heart failure patients, the two most complex conditions we studied.

Comparison of compliance rates with other countries

The compliance rates for process indicators in public general hospitals of Pudong new area were higher than those from studies from other countries in some cases and were similar or lower in others. For example, 92 % of patients with pneumonia in our study received initial antibiotics within 4 h of hospital arrival, compared to 81 % within 8 h in a study in the U.S. [20]. According to our chart review, 91 % of type-2 diabetics received an HbA1c test, but this rate was about 32 % in the hospitals in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia [31].

But, for patients with AMI, only 5 % received thrombolytic therapy within 30 min of admission, 0 % received PCI within 90 min of admission, and 61 % were advised to continue to use β-blocker after discharge, much lower than corresponding rates in U.S. studies (36, 70 and 79 %, respectively) [13]. The proportion of inpatients with heart failure inappropriately not using β-blockers in our study was 48 %, much higher than that in the U.S. (15 %) [27].

The compliance rates for using β-blocker within 24 h, for advising to continue to use aspirin after discharge, and for advising to continue to use ACEI/ARB after discharge for AMI in our study were 67, 80, and 65 %, similar to those in US and French studies (59.5–74 %, 72–87 %, 53–80 %) [1315, 32, 33].

The compliance rate for appropriate use of oxytocin during cesarean section was quite high (81 %). In contrast, a survey of 306 clinicians on the implementation of a pathway on oxytocin use during cesarean section in England and Wales found that only 40 % of the surveyed clinicians followed the NICE recommendation [34]. While these comparisons should be interpreted with caution since they are based on studies of different time periods and clinical practice changes rapidly, they point to important differences across countries in the extent to which health care organizations provide pathway compliant care.

Limitations

The findings of this study were based on chart review of 5 common conditions in inpatient care of 7 public general hospitals of Pudong new area in Shanghai. As a result, the study results may not represent the experience of other areas or regions of China, although they are likely to reflect medical practice in Shanghai. We emphasize, however, that Pudong New Area includes both urban and rural areas, indicating that our study sample includes economically diverse patients. In general, because the socioeconomic status is higher and more resources are devoted to health care in eastern China than in other areas, the study results are likely to represent an area in China with relatively high quality of care.

Conclusions

Evidence-based clinical pathways may be used to improve quality of care, reduce costs, and decrease inappropriate variation in clinical practice. But our study found that public general hospitals in Shanghai had low compliance with national clinical pathways for 5 common conditions (pneumonia, AMI, heart failure, cesarean section, type-2 diabetes). The results, which provide unique evidence of the state of quality of care in Chinese public hospitals, indicate that opportunities exist to improve quality of care in Chinese public hospitals.

Our study also suggests that Chinese public hospitals could use the clinical pathways established by the NHFPC as a tool to identify areas in which quality could be improved. Our audit study identified certain KPIs for which Chinese hospitals performed well and others for which they did not. This information could be used to help managers in Chinese public hospitals direct quality improvement activities.

Finally, our results suggest that opportunities exist for the NHFPC to create and for hospitals to use clinical pathways more effectively. Our findings indicated that hospitals in Shanghai often do not provide care consistent with clinical pathways. More research is necessary to determine if the pathways are appropriate and, if so, how to encourage hospitals to change processes of care to be consistent with the guidelines.

Abbreviations

NHFPC: 

National Health and Family Planning Commission

AMI: 

Acute myocardial infarction

NICE: 

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

BMI: 

Body mass index

HIS: 

Hospital information systems

KPIs: 

Key process indicators

PCI: 

Percutaneous coronary intervention

STEMI: 

ST - segment elevation myocardial infarction

LBBB: 

Left bundle branch block

ACEI: 

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor

ARB: 

Angiotensin receptor antagonist

OGTT: 

Oral glucose tolerance test

Declarations

Acknowledgements

This research project was funded by Commission of Health and Family Planning of Pudong New Area. Bundorf was funded by Fudan Senior Visiting Scholarship. We gratefully acknowledge the significant contributions of the following members of the research project team: Ming Li, Buqing Yu, Xingbin Liao, Xin Sun, Meiyu Cai, Jianwei Shi and Tianyi Du. The authors thank all the colleagues above for their help in gathering information, analyzing data, and sharing their views with us in the research. The authors also acknowledge all the hospitals that provided assistance with data collection in this research project. The data obtained in this study are the property of the principal researcher.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Hospital Management, Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment (MOH), Collaborative Innovation Center of Social Risks Governance in Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University
(2)
School of Medicine, Stanford University
(3)
Commission of Health and Family Planning of Pudong New Area

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