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Becker’s Hospital Review, US: Cognizant Examines the Impact Blockchain may have on Healthcare

“Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt the healthcare industry, bringing opportunities for payers and providers to simplify processes, reduce operating costs and improve patient care.” Excerpts:

“In a recent Cognizant survey of healthcare industry professionals across the U.S. and Europe, nearly half of respondents believe blockchain is critical or important for their organizations and the industry. Over the next three to five years, blockchain will have the biggest impact on provider data and identity management, patient record portability and sharing, and drug provenance.

Verifying the identity and credentials of licensed providers is core to the healthcare delivery system. However, maintaining accurate, up-to-date provider data is onerous, expensive and prone to error. Currently, all payers and providers maintain this data individually, each bearing the full cost of managing redundant data. However, blockchain can provide an immutable, distributed database of provider credentials accessible to payers and providers industry wide.

Blockchain offers the ability to share patient records across payers and providers industry wide, enabling much-needed interoperability, reducing costs and mitigating risks. Using blockchain, patient data such as insurance information, demographics and medical history would be securely transferable and available to any treating physician, health system or payer that is part of the blockchain network. When a patient is referred to another physician, appointment check-in can be as simple as providing an encrypted blockchain key that allows the physician access to pertinent medical and insurance information.

Supply chain provenance for pharmaceuticals is a good use case example. Drug provenance is critical to establishing authenticity and ensuring quick remediation in the event of impurity or tampering of drugs. For example, one application is blockchain’s ability to trace ingredients back to the source in the event an impure ingredient is discovered in a drug batch, so the problem can be fixed at that specific point in the supply chain.

Blockchain is far more than a technology implementation. It will fundamentally transform every aspect of operations and business strategy, making it critical that initiatives be driven by cross-functional teams and business stakeholders who understand its short and long-term implications and can ensure blockchain projects align with strategy.”

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