Depending on how much time you spend on the internet, you might have read about the term blockchain somewhere by now. Becoming quite the popular form of technology since it began powering the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in 2009, blockchain tech is now finding a home in more and more industries, including healthcare.
There are all kinds of uses for blockchain for healthcare credentialing technology. For you to be able to fully understand the potential uses of blockchain in the healthcare industry, you should take a look at exactly what blockchain tech does, and how it could function in healthcare.
What is a Blockchain?
A blockchain is actually quite the complex system, but for simplicity’s sake, think of it as an ever-growing chain of blocks (which are really just records of data). All of these blocks are linked together and verified using cryptographic software, and the technology is not centralized, so it is controlled by no single entity.
Blockchains have no central owner, and usually act as a public and immutable ledger that anyone can look at and verify with the right software tools. Every block in the chain contains some valuable pieces of data that anyone with the inclination can audit. These usually include the timestamp that the block was added to the chain, the transaction identifier contained in the block (also known as a txid), and a hash verified by the previous block.
What Can This Do For Healthcare Credentialing?
By using blockchain in your healthcare organization, you could allow everyone who holds credentials in the system to completely be in charge of their data, instead of going through a third party for the same results.
Some of the benefits that could be reaped include easy decentralization of credential data, so no single entity or administrator stores all of this important and personal data. It can also allow for transparency in your organization, since anybody could audit the information and ensure its accuracy. Finally, it could allow you to make sure there is no central point of failure, since the data would be distributed and not stored on a single machine or server.
These are just a few of the ways that blockchain technology could help out the healthcare industry, and there are so many more potential ways it could prove useful, as well.