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Blockchain In Healthcare: 3 Reasons You Want It For Your EHR

The ever-evolving healthcare industry has unique data management requirements as it deals efficiently with patient information that is personal, confidential, and sensitive.

This data is usually spread and stored across different providers and facilities which may result in inefficient and tedious processes, especially when this data has to be accessed by healthcare providers in emergency cases. Thankfully, Blockchain has emerged as the ‘answer to interoperability’ and the ‘out-of-the-box technology that is capable of solving the healthcare industry’s looming problems.’

One of the biggest advantages of blockchain in the healthcare industry is its unique ability to securely store and encrypt critical patient data like medical records. It can also help in preventing data breaches, addressing inefficient medical practices, and updating patient data across multiple locations.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain can be defined as a secured digital ledger that includes an immutable historical record or chain of all forms of transactions that have happened on the blockchain's network.

These digital ledgers are transparent and facilitate counter-checking while making any attempt to falsify information difficult. Furthermore, no individual person can make any change to a transaction after it has been recorded on the shared ledgers since the data entered on the blockchain is immutable.

How Your Healthcare Organisation Can Thrive with Blockchain?

  1. Better Patient Data Management and Sharing

A big majority of healthcare organisations face challenges in securely storing and transferring patient information. Usually, siloed record-keeping systems result in incomplete, ambiguous, or conflicting records.

Moreover, patients and/or their families are expected to personally carry medical information when they are referred to other medical service providers by their doctors. This, in turn, can result in increased security risks, poor data handling, loss of critical data, and inadvertent disclosures. These and many other challenges lead to wasted time, resources, and potential legal consequences.

Blockchain technology's inherent features can help medical data owners to maintain privacy, security, and confidentiality while providing a secure platform for healthcare providers to share the same information securely and quickly. For instance, healthcare providers can securely store a medical record and encode it with a private key.

This way, the medical record is made accessible only to specific individuals and/or organisations, ensuring privacy without the requirement for a central gatekeeper. Moreover, blockchain technology significantly reduces issues resulting from conflicting data among medical practitioners and patient documentation errors. In combination with smart contracts, blockchain technology can also facilitate access to patient data in compliance with a streamlined patient's consent policy.

2. More Payment Efficiency

One of the most frustrating, significant, and time-consuming issues faced by healthcare providers is getting paid. In most cases, the present healthcare system has to utilise micropayments that run through centralised third-party services to settle payments. This process can be extremely slow and vulnerable to hacking and may also lead to high fees over time.

Blockchain technology can help healthcare organisations leverage cryptocurrency token-based payments. Healthcare providers can receive direct transfers of the agreed-upon cryptocurrency amounts directly to their wallets once services are provided. This offers a fast, traceable, secure, and transparent method of payment that doesn't require a third party to resolve payment disputes or process payments. Once the cryptocurrency is received, it can be easily swapped for a stable coin, maintained in your wallet, or converted to cash.

3. Data Security and Electronic Health Records

Most present-day recordkeeping systems are found to be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Data breaches can result in significant financial losses to healthcare practitioners and organisations while damaging brand identity and trust. Moreover, such breaches can violate various regulations and laws depending on the nature of the violation.

Blockchain can be used by healthcare organisations to create and nurture standard security protocols, prevent unauthorized access to data while in transit, provide end-to-end encryption, and verify the integrity of software downloads. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for hackers to penetrate data storage systems.

Find out how your healthcare organisation can transform the healthcare industry. Contact us at C.I.G Consultants now.

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