Managers in healthcare facilities continue to embrace a range of technologies designed to address challenges. And as healthcare organizations continue to confront such challenges as cyberattacks and rising costs, there is growing interest in the potential benefits of blockchain technology.
Blockchain can do many things, from providing secure encryption of patient information to handling epidemics, according to News Medical. The term blockchain denotes a shared immutable record, of a chain of transactions, each comprising one block, with the blocks being held together by cryptographic keys.These keys or signatures are stored in shared ledgers, joined by a mesh of nodes, or processes that connect them. Each node has a copy of the whole chain, being constantly synchronized and kept up to date.
The advantages of blockchain technology, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), include its tamper-resistant nature, the decentralized nature of the digital ledgers, and the impossibility of changing a published transaction subsequently within the user community that shares the ledger.
Key concerns with blockchain applications in healthcare include network infrastructure security at all levels, identity verification and authentication of all participants, and uniform patterns of authorization to access electronic health information.
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