In a past blog, we mentioned possible blockchain applications in health IT and its ability to facilitate the transfer of sensitive medical information. Healthcare encompasses many more technologically supported services beyond securely sharing health records. Optimizing some of these services with blockchain technology can greatly improve data security, quality of care provided, and reduce operational costs. To get a more definite sense of the possibilities, consider the following five blockchain applications in these healthcare-related scenarios.
A shared ledger lets all parties involved hold a copy of records. Tampering with one copy is difficult to do without changing other copies of the file in the chain, and can often be traced back to the malicious source. This decentralized network of shared information ensures each copy of sensitive patient medical records are accurate and readily available to those who have permission to access or update information. Healthcare workers can only administer the right care when they have all of the correct patient health information to inform their tasks.
Different healthcare-related entities often need to work together and share information to provide care to a patient. Parties involved might include the primary physician, a medical testing lab, and the patient’s health insurance company. Blockchain applications improve collaboration between these different parties by allowing each one to access a patient’s records. As a result, healthcare efforts are disseminated quickly so that each party can fulfill the necessary work. For example, a physician needs to know some lab results before performing a procedure, but the insurance company needs to approve the item before the treatment can be administered.
Better Patient Accessibility
Tracking prescriptions or pharmaceutical information equips patients with a valuable tool. A quick, secure, and convenient way for patients to manage their medication is by accessing a program or portal for them to refill prescriptions. Pharmacies become another vital participant in providing healthcare services that need to stay in the loop of information with physicians and insurance companies. Of course, each party, including the patient, is limited by the blockchain technology to what information they can view and manipulate, keeping all records secure.
Patient portals are backed by blockchain applications to facilitate secure messaging and interaction between the patient and their doctors. Patients that update any health information, such as new medications or change in weight, can get that new data to their physician instantly. Additionally, under the appropriate conditions, the doctor can enter pertinent health information that the patient will be able to access immediately.
Trust in Transparency
Patients tend to research their healthcare providers to get a sense of their medical credentials to trust the healthcare professional. Different organizations or boards keep track of a professional’s career history, track record, and other credentials that can’t be altered or fabricated. Verifying a professional’s medical background in a secure network of different records gives the public transparency into a healthcare professional’s past.
Healthcare IT Services and Solutions from Audley Consulting Group
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