The Blockchain – Building Trust in Healthcare
Waiting endlessly in hospitals is nothing new for us. But why wait endlessly to access patient medical records or reports or to fill up the same forms again and again at hospitals? This can be remedied by initiating a huge healthcare transformation by implementing blockchain in hospital management.
The Blockchain is revolutionizing healthcare.16% of hospitals have already implemented blockchain by 2017 and 56% of the hospitals will implement blockchain by 2020. So what is blockchain and how can it transform healthcare? Take a look.
Blockchains are distributed systems which store information as inter-linked transactional records encrypted on a digital ledger. Each block is linked to the previous one with a cryptographic hash and a timestamp and contains information. With no central authority, blockchains implement high-level security by allowing users to update only the data to which they have access and replicating the alterations in all subsequent blocks. With accurate date and time stamping, all the transactions are recorded and can be verified at any point in time. This interoperability and high security indicate that there is immense potential for blockchain in healthcare.
Healthcare management services are heralding the advent of blockchain as the ultimate solution to many hospital management hiccups. Reducing time, costs and risks is just one of the many benefits of blockchain management.
Blockchain management consulting firms have listed the following areas as the domain of blockchain in healthcare.
Roughly 60% of the healthcare providers feel that blockchain can open up new markets and opportunities by replacing the intermediaries who were once required for data protection. Small healthcare operators can aggregate with bigger health ecosystems to meet competitors head-on. With vanishing intermediaries and information boundaries, inaccessible markets can now be tapped irrespective of geographical distance.
Sharing of clinical information as Electronic Medical Records is expected to save $93 billion for US hospitals in 5 years alone. 72% of the healthcare providers vouch for the huge impact of block-chain enabled electronic medical records.
With blockchain, a patient or his physician can access his medical records anytime and anywhere with total security. This interoperability not only saves time and cost but also ensures quick therapeutic assistance which is the ultimate goal of healthcare.
Medical services and transactions have to adhere to regulations and compulsorily. The Blockchain is the trusted tool to achieve regulatory compliance in healthcare systems. due to their high security, data can be verified through an audit trail in real time. They also detect non-compliant events and alert immediately thereby ensuring total regulation enforcement.
Billing and claims are the huge concerns of patients in healthcare. Blockchain in healthcare can dramatically relieve these worries by enabling transparent and complete access to treatment information by the patient. Block-chain can also predict unforeseen expenses for the patient before they select the hospital or undergo treatment. By this, patients can now gain insight on hidden charges and save money. For healthcare institutions, blockchain helps to expose uncollected payments and helps in their speedy recovery.
No more tampering of data in healthcare. Blockchain ensures that all clinical information is securely stored preventing hacking. All clinical events are date stamped preventing any malpractice.
Most of the patient’s parameters like heart rate, glucose level, blood pressure etc are available outside the hospital setting and has to be monitored at home. This data collected using wearables can be easily integrated using blockchains which help physicians provide the right treatment.
Healthcare consulting firms see Blockchain as a boon for healthcare as it enforces security and transparency of clinical information and reinforces trust in medicine.