The use of blockchain technology in electronic medical records: potential benefits and Challenges
There has been rapid growth and rise in the electronic medical record system. And now, companies are exploring several blockchain technologies that can change how patients handle data. The decentralization feature is one significant advantage that can help the electronic medical record system. Implementing distributed healthcare applications that do not depend on centralized authority becomes easier.
Moreover, blockchain technology creates an environment of openness and transparency because the methodology is replicated between all the nodes. It allows the stakeholders, the patients, and the healthcare organizations to control the method of handling the data and how and when it must be accessed. Therefore, by the nature of the process, blockchain can protect against data loss, fraud, or any security attack like the ransomware attack on the Healthcare system. To understand it clearly you must know emr meaning first.
EMR stands for Electronic Medical Record, which is a digital version of a patient’s medical history, including diagnoses, treatments, medications, and test results. Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way EMRs are stored and managed. However, implementing blockchain technology in the electronic medical record system also presents several challenges. Let’s learn more about it,
Advantages of the Blockchain technology for the EMR
Blockchain technology can potentially revolutionize how electronic medical records (EMRs) are stored and managed. It offers several advantages, including improved security, privacy, interoperability, and transparency. Using a decentralized and tamper-proof ledger, the blockchain can provide a secure and efficient way to share and access EMR data among healthcare providers, patients, and other stakeholders. Implementing blockchain technology in the electronic medical record system has several advantages.
Better Health Records Exchange
The ARRA 2009 Act stimulated the adoption of the electronic medical record system. However, most systems cannot share their data, a significant challenge faced by EHR interoperability and the IT structure. However, when integrated with the electronic medical record system, blockchain technology can address the interoperability challenges by being used as a common technical standard. It also helps to distribute electronic health data successfully.
Enhanced privacy and data security
Data integrity and security issues have meaningful collaboration and coordination in the healthcare industry. The threat of cyber attacks always puts healthcare data at risk of exposure. And also, every time, the data cannot be trusted even though it is properly exchanged due to the files being corrupted and filled with errors. When integrated with electronic medical health records, blockchain technology assures private public control through closed chains. While the public information is open to every participant, the data remains encrypted and can be accessed by authorized users. Therefore, the blockchain system defends the electronic medical record systems and enhances the privacy required by HIPAA.
Validates the correctness of Bill Management
The independent structure of the blockchain technology integrated with an electronic medical record system offers a highly integrated tracking methodology for refreshing the data instantly. Any data modification by an individual shall be notified to all other systems in the emr. Also, after the confirmation, the new data becomes a permanent part of the system and cannot be erased easily. Blockchain technology can also lessen financial failures and prevent illegality and fraud from happening.
Improves the climate of trust in medical research
Blockchain technology can significantly work toward the root of data snooping and medical research. The system also allows individuals to transfer time-stamped permanent records of the research outcomes and the clinical trials. Therefore, it also decreases the error and scams in the clinical test records.
Facilitates Patient-Centered Care
Blockchain technology can give patients greater control over their health data, leading to more patient-centered care. Patients can permit access to their health records to providers, researchers, and other stakeholders and can revoke that permission at any time. This can help patients to have more control over their health data and facilitate better care coordination.
Reduces administrative costs
Implementing blockchain technology can reduce the administrative costs associated with the traditional paper-based system. Blockchain technology can automate and streamline administrative tasks and reduce the need for intermediaries. This can lead to cost savings and efficiency improvements.
Challenges of Blockchain Technology in electronic medical health record systems
Blockchain technology is a new platform. But, it has yet to gain such technological advancements for proper effectiveness. Since the technology is new to the industry, the systems face several challenges.
Lack of technical knowledge
Every user can’t have hardware and software knowledge, and most users need to be adequately acquired with technological advancements. Therefore, the system will only be effective if all the users are well-equipped with proper technologies. Moreover, companies should also try to cut expenditures on such technologies.
Lack of paperless method
Nowadays, most doctors need to be better accustomed to medical record systems; they still prefer paper records and try to keep them in a file system. Some medicine shops still need to be paperless; most try to maintain their records using prescriptions. Also, patients still prefer keeping the paperwork for their purposes. Therefore, adapting to blockchain technology for the electronic medical record system is challenging for doctors and patients.
Lack of government involvement
Most hospitals are controlled and managed by the government; thus, they can implement rules. However, the government does not want to work hard and adapt to the newest technologies. Therefore, it is challenging to implement blockchain technology into the emr systems of those hospitals. Moreover, only third parties or central authorities can make the decisions.
Integration with Legacy Systems
Another challenge of implementing blockchain technology in electronic medical records is integrating it with legacy systems. The traditional systems used in the healthcare industry may not be compatible with blockchain technology, and it may not be easy to integrate the existing data into the new blockchain-based system.
Scalability and Speed
Another challenge of blockchain technology in electronic medical records is scalability and speed. Blockchain networks need to be more scalable to handle a large volume of transactions, which could limit the speed of data access and exchange in healthcare.
Blockchain technology is still evolving, and there need to be more regulatory frameworks governing its use in the healthcare industry. The regulatory framework for blockchain technology in healthcare still needs to be clearly defined, which could pose challenges to implementing blockchain-based electronic medical records.
The medical record system is a comprehensive system to store data and information about the medical systems and the patients. Moreover, blockchain effectively safeguards and protects medical records, and blockchain-encrypted data cannot be deleted or altered. Although the technology is yet to be adequately implemented, it has multiple advantages that can be reaped by medical institutions, patients, and doctors once they are correctly integrated into the system.