Home Blockchain Unlocking interoperability for digital transformation with a blockchain-powered network

Unlocking interoperability for digital transformation with a blockchain-powered network

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Unlocking interoperability for digital transformation with a blockchain-powered network

blockchain, digitalization, digital health register, ledger

Two of the biggest buzzwords in healthcare these days are “digital transformation” – and for good reason. There is plenty of room for improvement! The patient experience needs to be improved, processes need to be automated, and the cost of healthcare administration needs to be reduced. Digital transformation is a path to achieving these goals – just as it has been in other industries – but many hospitals, health systems, payers and provider organizations are struggling to know where to start in this. travel.

Every organization has very specific needs, so evaluating different systems and vendors can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when it feels like the options are endless. And while there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach to digital transformation, there is one solution that could both help scale the industry and be a springboard for digital transformation within organizations – a blockchain enabled interoperability network.

Blockchain basics

Blockchain technology may seem daunting, but when you break it down into simple terms, blockchain is a digital collection of transactions that are tracked and recorded on a decentralized network. Think of it as a database or spreadsheet that multiple participants access in real time. Each transaction is recorded and linked to the transaction that occurred before and after. They are then connected chronologically, creating the “block”. New data blocks connect to previous data blocks, which ultimately create the chain. Hence, the blockchain.

This enables unprecedented synchronization of data between participants, creating a single source of truth. The potential to enable cross-organizational workflows and the ability for participants to transact digitally over a real-time network with higher levels of security and transparency is incredibly powerful.

Another key aspect of blockchain is permanence. Once a transaction is committed to the chain, it cannot be deleted. Users can only add to the chain through a new block, which ultimately creates a historical, linear, and immutable record of events or transactions. Changes cannot be made unilaterally to the ledger – network participants must validate changes before a new block is created, reducing opportunities for fraudulent activity. More so, this decentralized approach enables data parity, which is essential in a regulated and data-intensive industry like healthcare.

Working together is the way to achieve interoperability and transformation

One of the greatest features of blockchain is that it provides an unprecedented level of transparency and openness, so each participant can be held accountable and accountable for acting with integrity towards their community. But as we know, the notion of transparency, openness and trust is new in healthcare, and for blockchain to work in healthcare, a fundamental shift in mindset is required. to build a community with common goals. Payers, providers, financial institutions and technology innovators – often referred to as “enemies” – must put aside their old competitive spirit and come together as one team for the healthcare industry to be truly interoperable.

Collaboration can bring tangible and mutual benefits to payers and providers alike. For example, there is a significant opportunity to simplify some of the essential and repetitive administrative tasks that occur across many touchpoints in the healthcare industry ecosystem, such as eligibility, pre-authorization, benefits coordination, provider information and claims status, among others. A blockchain-based network of payers and providers creates the opportunity to reinvent many of these traditionally non-value-added activities. Additionally, when payers and providers work together to create common processes and run on a shared network, inefficiencies can be eliminated.

A use case that demonstrates how blockchain can streamline the administrative process includes sharing and updating vendor demographic and banking information with payers in a secure environment. Often, the administrative processes behind managing provider information are manual and disjointed, so when a change is made, significant effort is required to update information between stakeholders. This can not only impact the speed of payments, but also increase the risk of fraud. With a distributed network that leverages blockchain, when a validated change is made to a supplier’s data, all parties with the appropriate permissions can automatically receive updated information, resulting in faster and more efficient payments. accurate.

Let’s start working together

Blockchain technology can help lay the foundation for a new level of trust in healthcare.

The next step is for all stakeholders – payers, providers, patients, financial institutions and developers – to collaborate to build this network together to achieve efficiency and true interoperability in healthcare. With a single network that connects the industry, healthcare will be better positioned to meet the expectations and business objectives of its customers.

Photo: Pixtum, Getty Images

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