The current healthcare system is deeply flawed and weak. It is also afflicted by problems that have plagued it for decades, such as laborious administrative tasks and a lack of a cohesive and consistent system of records.
However, with evolving technology, the first signs of progress are noticeable; and although integrating new technologies into a system filled with vulnerabilities is no simple job, the benefits to all parties involved are undeniable.
Along with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, blockchain has quickly become one of the most prominent advancements in the healthcare industry.
For health professionals, the distributed ledger methodology offers an exceptional level of precision, confidentiality, and security, providing an innovative different way to maintain data integrity while giving patients more authority over their data.
Even though there are not many organizations that have yet implemented blockchain technology for healthcare apps, the technology has the potential to significantly diminish or remove many of the most critical difficulties in the field, such as data siloes, data ownership, patient approvals, information governance and many more.
Blockchain adoption has the potential to entirely change the landscape – and, likely, lessen the costs of bureaucracy and overhead that contribute to the high cost of healthcare.
How the adoption of blockchain can change the healthcare industry
Many healthcare institutions still rely on outdated systems to keep track of their patient’s medical records. The patient’s medical data is held in local databases by inaccurate tools, which can make the diagnosis time-consuming and complicated for the doctors.
Healthcare organizations generally use a centralized database to save data ranging from patient personal details to medical records and doctor’s prescriptions.
Since the data is stored in a single, centralized location, it can create issues such as identity thefts, spamming, financial data crimes.
Improving patient engagement
In a blockchain, each group member has their backup file of the shared dataset. When one individual decides to change the information, the potential edit must follow a set of authentication requirements to confirm the authenticity of the person making the change. Until a transaction can be verified, every member of the group must first approve it, and then each local copy of the data is updated to follow the operation.
After that, the edit is made into a “block,” or a fixed event that has been accepted and locked in place. Each block is applied to the “chain” of events over time, giving the technique its name.
This solution allows the members of a private blockchain group to maintain control over who can make changes to the data. If the data in question is a patient’s health file, the patient should be granted full discretion over who has access to it and who may alter it. The patient may use a private blockchain to track the reliability of changes like new diagnoses, or even restrict which clinicians have access to confidential information.
Besides, when an entity demands permission to access a specific bit of data or makes a change, patients will receive automatic alerts, giving them better control over how, when, and for what reason their data is shared.
This way, the transparency across the system will surely increase.
Simplifying the work of coordinated care teams
Basically, providers are in desperate need of data management software that can support, rather than complicate the healthcare services.
Over time, a lot of health data has been gathered by care providers and individuals, but it hasn’t been translated into consumable setups that provide a robust, individualized approach for each patient, which leads to successful long-term patient wellbeing.
If a person’s data were centralized through a blockchain-based care management system, patients and caregivers may collaborate to harmonize the efforts of healthcare specialists operating at different locations.
Patients will no longer be responsible for carrying lists between visits, or correctly recounting one specialist’s advice while consulting another. Instead, clinicians should work more closely together while still enabling the patient to make the final decision on any improvements or edits.
Addressing medication reconciliation and patient safety
One of the most complex and risky aspects of patient care is medication negotiation. Even when patients remember all of their prescriptions correctly, prescription list discrepancies are surprisingly common.
To fix this critical problem, blockchain may once again use its centralization and distributed approval capabilities. If one specialist writes a prescription that is similar to another clinician’s prescription, the blockchain may detect the similarity and prevent the patient from taking two alike medications at the same time.
If a specialist wants to add a new medication to the active list, but the patient has stopped taking it on the recommendation of another member of the care team, the patient can keep the change from going through.
If a patient tries to remove a prescription from their record on their own, their primary care doctor may receive a warning, prompting a conversation about the case.
Simplifying the patient identification processes
It is incredibly difficult to ensure that a patient’s identity follows them during their entire life journey through the treatment spectrum without duplication, deletion, or other errors.
Due to a lack of access to vital health data, misidentification of patients may result in ineffective treatments. It also creates a bad patient experience, which can harm satisfaction ratings.
Blockchain may be the next best thing for connecting people and their information.
In order to enhance data flow between multiple organizations, the databases should be linked to the chain and enhance data flow while ensuring that this is done so with the patient’s needs in mind.
Blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger system that stores and manages data in a decentralized and protected environment, enhances transaction traceability and transparency.
Blockchain has tremendous potential in healthcare to boost data privacy and availability of medical records, bring transparency to financial operations, simplify the process of payment cycles, and reducing operational conflict. This is a tiny subset of problems that can be tremendously improved by simply implementing this revolutionary technology.
It is clear that blockchain’s impact on the healthcare system is immeasurable. Once the problems and delays that affect healthcare systems are fixed, the quality of patient care and provider relationships can considerably improve. Only solid, well-considered, and stable healthcare technology will solve the existing problems within the industry as it continues to evolve – and blockchain technology is ready to reinvent these.