Expert sheds light on benefits of blockchain technology in health care | Ed Marx comments on using blockchain technology in health care | Survey details priorities of health care C-suite under Trump administration
Blockchain technology could boost data security and interoperability in EHR systems, as well as improve cost efficiency in health care processes, writes D'Arcy Guerin Gue, vice president of industry relations at Phoenix Health Systems. However, barriers such as lack of blockchain awareness among health care executives, inadequate technical standards and regulatory uncertainties should be addressed before the technology gains traction in the industry, she writes.
Ed Marx comments on using blockchain technology in health care
Ed Marx, NYC HHC IT leadership team (Submitted photo)
Blockchain is receiving increased visibility in health care, and deservedly so. Again, we find ourselves behind the curve in technology adoption when compared with other industry verticals such as finance. But hope is not lost. We can leverage the early work of our non-health care peers and confidently move forward. I believe blockchain represents our opportunity to bust the interoperability stagnation that has held back health care transformation for several years.
As with all emerging technologies, we need pioneers who are innovative and willing to take calculated risks. Drawing from the experience of other industries and select suppliers, we have an opportunity to create something transformational. A great example is CIO and CHIME member Chad Brisendine. He is a pioneer who is emerging as one of the first health care leaders developing tools leveraging blockchain. I believe the results will help encourage others to follow.
A survey from Premier found that health care C-suite leaders are focusing on five areas under the Trump administration, including: cost management, specifically in drug spending; using analytics to prioritize meaningful insights over meaningful use; promoting consumer engagement; moving toward population health; and continuing to focus on clinical quality. The survey included 63 health care executives, including CIOs, CMOs, CTIOs and others, contacted between Jan. 3 and Feb. 6.
HHS has appointed former Louisiana Rep. John Fleming as deputy assistant secretary for health technology. Fleming said he plans to work on policies that encourage physician use of health technology by reducing paperwork and providing pay incentives, and he would like to remove barriers preventing the transfer of information to digital filing systems.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will decide by July if it will replace its VISTA records system with a commercial system, said VA Secretary David Shulkin. But "[deciding which way to go] is not the same as deciding what system we'll use," said Shulkin, who is monitoring a similar change at the Pentagon.
Providers at the Allegheny Health Network may now access the EHRs of veterans that are stored at any of the Department of Veterans Affairs' 1,233 centers across the US, including the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, via the agency's Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record. More than 1,700 documents have been shared between the organizations since they began the partnership last fall.
Traditional EHRs can't handle the volume of data required for population health management programs, which is why data lakes have become a better alternative. The idea is to create a repository for vast amounts of data, both structured and unstructured, with parallel computing and storage capabilities that allow for speed, scale and redundancy, and the approach works best when paired with data structures like assignment models and standard coding.
Sixty-four percent of health care providers surveyed by Stoltenburg Consulting reported being either unprepared or very unprepared to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. The poll also found that 68% of respondents said clinical, financial and IT departments should cooperate in MACRA preparation and compliance.
A study in the online journal Value in Health showed that telemedicine visits could save one person $156 in direct travel costs, four hours of driving time and 278 miles over 20 years. Researchers evaluated inpatient and outpatient interactive video visits for 19,246 patients at the University of California Davis Health in Sacramento from 1996 to 2013 and found that telemedicine improved patient care, benefited primary care physicians who were able to interact with specialists more often and also provided environmental benefits.
The CHIME Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) program is the first certification program exclusively for CIOs and IT executives in the health care industry. Becoming a CHCIO helps distinguish you as a leader in the health IT industry. The next exam is April 11 in Chicago. Learn more.
The Healthcare CIO Boot Camp is one of CHIME's most popular and successful programs. It's an intense three-and-a-half days of learning, sharing and growing. The program is taught by leading CIOs and combines presentations, small group discussions, case studies and interactive problem-solving, allowing participants to learn the real-world skills necessary to become a successful health care CIO. Participation in the Boot Camp is currently limited to CHIME members and their direct reports (including affiliates). Learn more.
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