How blockchain goes beyond HIPAA for healthcare communications security
Blockchain technology was first introduced in financial services, but it’s now gaining wider acceptance, including healthcare organizations. A report by Deloitte says that blockchain can deliver value in healthcare by connecting fragmented systems to generate insights and better assess the value of care.
Blockchain provides decentralized access to data in a secure setting where information can be viewed but not altered.
Diagnotes and the road to blockchain
Diagnotes is a healthcare messaging platform that has integrated blockchain to offer a level of security that goes beyond HIPAA requirements.
Diagnotes’ chief technology officer Jamie Kurtz notes that “We started considering blockchain when there was substantial growth in the use of our messaging platform at a large academic health system. This client anticipated a day when data would be summoned to validate a treatment path, support a physician’s decision, or ensure protocol was followed to deliver quality care.”
A mutual desire to improve data security inspired an initiative to go beyond HIPAA compliance and implement blockchain in the Diagnotes system.
According to Kurtz, “We knew blockchain was the way to go for data integrity. Because blockchain relies on nearly unbreakable cryptography, our clinical communications and collaboration platform is substantially more trustworthy than any of our competitors.”
How does blockchain for communications work?
In Diagnotes’ system, a cryptographic hash is created for every communication event. The hash is then added to a new block on an Ethereum-based blockchain, for which another hash is created. Both hashes are then stored alongside the original communication event in the system’s primary database. This approach greatly strengthens the trustworthiness of messages in Diagnotes, while at the same time avoids sending PHI to the blockchain itself. This entire process occurs near real time, in the background, to avoid negatively impacting the user experience.
“Improved data integrity had to be incorporated without getting in the way of users or slowing them down,” Kurtz says. “We offer exceptional data integrity for communications without users noticing – no additional hardware, steps, or clicks.”
Diagnotes is the only healthcare texting system that utilizes blockchain security. Our mobile platform accelerates clinical communication and gives your care teams the power to collaborate seamlessly in real time. Health systems using Diagnotes optimize their efficiency, while increasing clinician and patient satisfaction.