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Knowledge sharing on clinical advances at Hospital Authority Convention 2018
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:
     Over 150 distinguished Mainland, overseas and local speakers are sharing their knowledge and insights on various health topics of interest with more than 5 600 healthcare and academic professionals at the two-day annual Hospital Authority (HA) Convention 2018 today and tomorrow (May 7 and 8).
     The HA Convention 2018 is focusing on the HA's core values, namely "People-centred Care", "Professional Service", "Committed Staff" and "Teamwork". It aims to promote the sharing of knowledge and experience on clinical advances and approaches to modern healthcare service, and facilitate exploration and discussion of contemporary concepts among healthcare professionals and stakeholders.

     The HA Convention 2018 was officially opened this morning by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan; Vice Minister of the National Health Commission Professor Zeng Yixin; the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the HA Chairman, Professor John Leong; and the HA Chief Executive, Dr Leung Pak-yin.
     In his welcome address, Professor Leong expressed gratitude to the 70 000 strong staff team who helped the HA surmount the pressing summer and winter service surges in the past year.
     Professor Leong also expressed gratitude for the Government's forward looking commitment in the public healthcare sector. "In particular the Government introduced a new arrangement by undertaking to increase the recurrent funding for the HA progressively on a triennium basis, having regard to population growth rates and demographic changes. This will enable the HA proactively to plan for the medium term to augment the capacity of public hospital services."
     Professor Leong further deliberated on the HA's effort in developing information technology-based solutions to dovetail with the Government's vision to build Hong Kong into a smart city. "An excellent example is the filmless project that we have implemented in 23 hospitals, covering eight specialties across all seven clusters to enhance clinical services.
     "And we are exploring the development of a HA Big Data Analytics Platform for trials in opening up HA data for analytics or research, with a view to facilitating healthcare policies formulation and clinical enhancement."

     Delivering his keynote address on "Integrated Care – Putting People into Teams, and Teams into Systems", Dr Leung highlighted the burden of chronic diseases.

     "For HA services, it is projected that the number of patients with selected chronic diseases will increase from 1.46 million in 2016 to 2.05 million in 2026, and 2.47 million in 20 years' time. Figures also show that multi-morbidities increase with age. Among those 1.46 million chronic disease sufferers, around half are elderly, and over 50 per cent of these elderly patients will have multi-morbidities," he said.

     Expressing concern about the increase in non-elderly chronic patients, Dr Leung said, "When we look into the average annual growth rate of our patients with selected chronic diseases over the same period, the growth rate between the non-elderly and the elderly is surprisingly similar. Part of the reason is lifestyle-related, as by and large we eat less healthily nowadays and get less exercise."

     Dr Leung appealed for a more horizontal integration both within and across disciplines. "In other words, a new model of care for managing chronic diseases, moving from many concurrent specialties to a matrix of services that can give us greater flexibility in addressing patients' changing needs.
     "Earlier this year, we piloted the Pharmacist Clinics to offer drug refill services for chronic patients with multiple drugs prescribed for a prolonged period," said Dr Leung, adding that the HA would pilot an Integrated Model of Specialist Outpatient Services through the nurse clinics in selected specialties in 2018. "This advocates longitudinal, integrated care that optimises the inputs of a multi-disciplinary team along the clinical pathway."
     He added that there would be a number of system enablers for integrated care. "It is very clear that information technology is playing an increasingly important role in managing the treatment pathways of chronic disease patients.
     "Our colleagues can already review their own medical appointments, medication records, radiology reports, laboratory reports and allergy records using the mobile Staff Health Record app. We are going to develop an integrated mobile access platform for the public so that they can have access to many of our services and review their own health profile in the HA, anytime, anywhere, to facilitate better management of their condition.

     "Our vision is to see the vast majority of older patients age happily in their home environment, monitoring their own health as far as possible and keeping medical appointments or hospitalisation to a minimum. That involves greater collaboration across specialties, collaboration with the social sector at the community level, more health education programmes for patients and carers, and extensive use of information technology. In short, it will reduce the number of steps along the pathway of care."
Ends/Monday, May 7, 2018
Issued at HKT 14:30
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