Blockchain Technology Can Make EHRs Even Better – Here’s How.
Electronic Health Records or EHRs provide various opportunities to healthcare departments to enhance patient care, contribute to clinical research and improve performance measures in clinical practices. Despite all the benefits, administration and data management are severely lagging. On top of it, there is always the risk of data breaching by hackers and unauthorized external parties.
To combat all these challenges, companies are now exploring blockchain technology. But can the technology behind bitcoin transform how we manage Electronic Health Records? Let’s find out.
EHR Interoperability issues
In a medical ecosystem, patient medical information has to be shared between different providers. This is why interoperability is important. But there are two major issues:
Safe information transfer: Transferring data properly without information missing is a big challenge for the healthcare industry. If the data is leaked during the process, it would be a HIPAA violation.
Complete information transfer: Another issue is transferring the complete data to the intended recipient because partial medical data can be very dangerous.
Blockchain can help solve interoperability challenges in healthcare. Here’s how.
- As there is no centralized owner of the information in a blockchain, patients can oversee their own identity and health record.
- By accessing data through APIs, blockchain achieves standardization of data formats to enable seamless data transmission.
With the help of blockchain technology, patient medical data can be synced with multiple, disparate healthcare information systems while assuring complete privacy and security of sensitive data.
Data security issues hinder meaningful coordination and collaboration in healthcare. Also, after the data is transferred, it is often corrupted or includes errors, forcing users on the other side to manually correct them.
Blockchain technology assures access control through shared public and private chains. While all the participants in the blockchain can access public data, private information is encrypted and only accessible to authorized users.
Blockchain technology also helps solve data ownership issues and enable secure and accountable peer-to-peer sharing.
Enabling more clinical studies
Blockchain technology enables the use of data in real-time. This would result in researchers and healthcare experts accessing a huge selection of anonymized patient records for studies, which would lead to a better understanding of various conditions and enhanced treatment options.
Besides all the above benefits, blockchain-based EHR solutions would also reduce the time required to access the patient’s information while enhancing interoperability and improving data quality, which will be a game-changer for both the medical community and patients.