Appl Clin Inform 2021; 12(02): 399-406
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1728770
Research Article

Health Information System's Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic in China: A National Cross-sectional Study

Jiancheng Ye
1  Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Objective After the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Chinese hospitals and health information technology (HIT) vendors collaborated to provide comprehensive information technology support for pandemic prevention and control. This study aims to describe the responses from the health information systems (HIS) to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide empirical evidence in the application of emerging health technologies in China.

Methods This observational descriptive study utilized a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of hospitals in China (N = 1,014) from 30 provincial administrative regions across the country. Participants include hospital managers, hospital information workers, and health care providers.

Results Among all the responses, the most popular interventions and applications include expert question-and-answer sessions and science popularization (61.74%) in online medical consultation, online appointment registration (58.97%) in online medical service, and remote consultation (75.15%) in telehealth service. A total of 63.71% of the participating hospitals expanded their fever clinics during the pandemic, 15.38% hospitals used new or upgraded mobile ward rounds systems, and 44.68% hospitals applied online self-service systems. Challenges and barriers include protecting network information security (57.00%) since some hospitals experienced cybersecurity incidents. 71.79% participants hope to shorten wait time and optimize the treatment process. Health care workers experienced increased amount of work during the pandemic, while hospital information departments did not experience significant changes in their workload.

Conclusion In the process of fighting against the COVID-19, hospitals have widely used traditional and emerging novel HITs. These technologies have strengthened the capacity of prevention and control of the pandemic and provided comprehensive information technology support while also improving accessibility and efficiency of health care delivery.


The data underlying this article are available in the article.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects


Publication History

Received: 19 October 2020

Accepted: 08 March 2021

Publication Date:
19 May 2021 (online)

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