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Showing the way in infectious disease control

Beijing Ditan Hospital (pictured) specializes in infectious diseases.Credit: Beijing Ditan Hospital

“Beijing Ditan Hospital has been through a lot. We are part of the national emergency treatment team and National Center for Infectious Diseases,” says Jin Ronghua, the dean of Beijing Ditan Hospital.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as managing patient care, the hospital participated in various research programmes, prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections, screening of antiviral drugs, and development of diagnostic reagents. Their results, including the identification and characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (then called 2019-nCoV) and the genomic surveillance of COVID-19 cases in Beijing were published in The New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Communications.

Leading in infectious diseases research and control

Beijing Ditan Hospital, founded in 1946, is affiliated with Capital Medical University and specializes in infectious diseases. It set up the National Medical Quality Control Center for Infectious Diseases, the National Clinical Drug Trial Base, the Institute of Infectious Diseases of Capital Medical University, and the WHO Collaborating Center for Integrated Management of AIDS Treatment and Care.

The hospital has undertaken many rescue and treatment operations during infectious disease outbreaks. It diagnosed and treated cases of human H7N9 avian influenza, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, and Zika, as well as anthrax, cholera and pneumonic plague. The hospital has also dealt with outbreaks of SARS, H1N1 avian influenza and, most recently, COVID-19.

The hospital’s infectious disease discipline was ranked second in the 2019 China Hospital Science and Technology Volume Value ranking.

Bringing chinese solutions to the world

Beijing Ditan Hospital wants to become a world leader in its field and plans to achieve this goal with four steps.

The first is to establish an online medical system for remote and real-time consultation, quality control, and the management of chronic patients. Secondly, to establish a big data platform to help integrate clinical and basic research. Thirdly, to build a global platform that will serve as a knowledge sharing mechanism for both medical workers and the public. As well as providing epidemic alerts, it will help fight against disinformation by providing a reliable source of facts and explanation.

Lastly, it wants to establish itself as a connected ‘smart hospital’, which will include safety management, energy optimization, network interoperability, effective communication, and the Internet of Things. The purpose is to improve patient outcomes, enhance service experience, reduce medical expenses, and improve work efficiency.

“The history of human progress is the history of the continuous struggle with infectious diseases.” Jin says, “The future strategic goal of Beijing Ditan Hospital is to provide the world with Chinese experience, standards, and solutions.”

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