MTBC, a leading provider of proprietary, cloud-based healthcare IT solutions and services, announced the release of new blockchain technology integrated with the company’s Electronic Health Records (EHR) platform to store medical history of a patient, eliminate interoperability issues that have plagued the digitization of healthcare for years, and give patients’ absolute control over who has access to their valuable health data. This makes MTBC one of the first within the healthcare industry to incorporate blockchain technology.
Implementation of blockchain technology
Integration of blockchain will bring continuous growing list of records that are linked and secured using a hashing technique, MTBC has created a medical record “home” that extrapolates patient data into a single, safe, and accessible location. The blockchain technology, called Hyperledger, links directly to the company’s EHR that includes a portal for patients to access their Personal Health Records (PHR) through a computer or smartphone via iOS and Android applications. Through the PHR, patients can grant varying levels of medical record access to physicians of their choosing, no matter what EHR system that provider uses in his or her practice. Once an approved physician adds data in the blockchain, those details are then mirrored to the EHR in real time, so the original record remains up-to-date, secure, and comprehensive while complying with regulatory guidelines.
President of MTBC, A. Hadi Chaudhry said that right now, every time a physician sees a new patient, a new medical record is created within the EHR used by that provider’s healthcare practice. While this approach is certainly more efficient than paper recordkeeping, issues with interoperability limit physicians’ ability to see patients’ complete healthcare picture as only the encounters within their system are visible. Unless patients take the initiative to proactively share details about their health history and any medications that another provider may have prescribed, their current physician is working around blind spots that can adversely impact the effectiveness of care.