The 2011 China Winter Session was an unprecedented opportunity for Harvard students to witness the rapid evelopment and reform of health care in the metropolitan area with nearly 20 million population in China. With the goal of studying health care reform in urban area, 15 HSPH students who came from 6 countries, visited Shanghai and Beijing, the two largest cities in China.
In Shanghai, they studied how a community health center apply electronic medical recored to improve quality of care for all residents in its serving area and the preformance of health care providers, and how the city health government made strategic plan to integrate health care orgnaizaions. In Beijing, they learned how care is delivered in a large city by visiting medical academic center, emergency center, rehabilitation hospital, rural hospital and community health center. The course ended up with a workshop participated by national and city health leaders, health policy makers and researchers who got together to provide Beijing health authority recommendations of how to reform the city’s health care system in the next decade.
In all, the students were immersed in the concepts, operations and implementation of the multi-varied Chinese health care system, all the while experiencing the diverse culture of China.