Peggy Duggan and a colleague from Jiangsu Province Hospital review a mammogram prior to a procedure there.

From left: Peggy Duggan and a colleague from Jiangsu Province Hospital review a mammogram prior to a procedure there.

China’s health care system is undergoing widespread changes as its government pursues a major reform effort to improve the quality of care. To comply with this mandate, hospitals are establishing partnerships with academic medical centers, including the Brigham.

Jiangsu Province Hospital (JPH), a 3,000-bed public hospital and teaching affiliate of Nanjing Medical University, and Brigham Health International have entered into an initial agreement focused on jointly assessing and planning for a potential longer-term collaboration—an initiative spearheaded by the Brigham’s Business Development and Strategic Initiatives (BDSI) group.

Nine Brigham faculty and staff members have traveled to JPH over the past two months to evaluate opportunities for cooperation in cardiovascular medicine, urology, renal transplant, breast surgery, radiology and pathology, as well as research.

Among those who participated in an initial joint-assessment program were Anil Chandraker, MD, medical director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation in the Brigham’s Division of Renal Medicine, who was introduced to the clinical care and research taking place in the transplant unit at JPH. After touring the inpatient and outpatient facilities and participating in several meetings, Chandraker said he gained a deeper understanding of the structure of the transplant program at JPH, which carries out approximately 80 kidney transplants annually, a volume similar to the Brigham.

“There is a substantial opportunity to work closely with JPH’s transplant unit, including potential cooperation in research,” Chandraker said. “Additionally, we’re interested in sharing our transplant coordinator model, which is so integral to our success but does not exist at JPH.” The coordinator is part of the Brigham’s multidisciplinary team approach, designed to improve quality of care before and after transplant.

Adam Kibel, MD, chief of the Division of Urology, observed several procedures while visiting JPH, as did Peggy Duggan, MD, breast cancer surgeon at the Brigham and chief medical officer of BWFH, who noted that one potential area for exploration at JPH is increasing the rate of breast-preserving surgery and breast reconstruction. Dale Adler, MD, cardiologist and executive vice chair of the Department of Medicine, saw the practice of cardiovascular medicine firsthand while at JPH earlier this month and was also able to evaluate opportunities for collaboration in research.

Radiology and pathology—in particular, teleradiology and telepathology—represent areas that hold promise for collaboration between JPH and the Brigham. Giles Boland, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology, and Karen Lemaire, MHA, executive director of Radiology, conducted an on-site assessment of challenges and future needs for outpatient imaging at JPH. Jeffrey Golden, MD, chair of the Department of Pathology, and pathologist Marisa Nucci, MD, met with their counterparts at JPH to determine potential opportunities for cooperation and innovation in clinical care, research and education.

During a visit to JPH, Mark Davis, MD, executive director of BDSI, presented at a grand rounds on international collaboration in health care and participated in meetings with JPH President Jinhai Tang, MD, and other hospital leadership.