Blockchain and security go hand-in-hand, particularly as it relates to matters of privacy and enterprise IT security. That’s what makes blockchain so valuable when it comes to empowering patients to control their own data, which is not only good service but also required by HIPAA. In other words, blockchain cybersecurity integrated into cloud solutions provides an innovative approach to managing HIPAA-compliant medical records systems.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established national standards to protect sensitive patient information from disclosure without patient knowledge and consent. Subsequent rules related to privacy and security become increasingly complex the more we digitize records and data. Cloud solutions for enterprise IT security can’t keep up. According to the HIPAA Journal:
“Between 2009 and 2020, 3,705 healthcare data breaches of 500 or more records have been reported to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights. Those breaches have resulted in the loss, theft, exposure, or impermissible disclosure of 268,189,693 healthcare records. That equates to more than 81.72% of the population of the United States.”
Clearly enterprise security is missing something critical if data breaches are on the rise almost every year, costing healthcare providers millions of dollars and impacting millions upon millions of patients. We think blockchain technology can enhance HIPAA compliance and protect patient records. Here’s how:
Blockchain technology returns healthcare data to the patient.
Blockchain technology enables the ability to create an up-to-date ledger of patient records that can only be accessed by providers when patients grant it. Because availability and transparency features are inherent to blockchain, providers would get immediate insights from data to assist in diagnosis and referrals and more. More importantly as it relates to HIPAA, the security and confidentiality features of blockchain improve cybersecurity and compliance to privacy laws.
To understand how this might work, envision the blockchain as a “living document,” a kind of running ledger that updates and synchronizes records automatically for patients. Decentralized, encrypted digital blocks improve accuracy and, because the patient controls access directly, elebrates trust. Removing data from a central point of access eliminates the need for enterprise cybersecurity for cloud systems.
What does “decentralized” mean for healthcare data?
When a record changes for one provider, the chain of records related to that patient get updates across the ecosystem. This eliminates the need to port data from one system to another and for a patient to call and request information to get updated. Furthermore, as it relates to benefits to the provider, patient record updates are applied to each block in a time-stamped chronology. This results in reduced costs and increased productivity related to record keeping.
The fact that a blockchain can serve as a single source of truth makes it easier for all participants in a network to resolve or avoid discrepancies. Disputes can first be resolved by the ledger itself as it seeks consensus for any patient record changes. The transparency and immutability of the blockchain will make audits for healthcare providers much simpler and more affordable to perform.
It’s important to keep in mind that blockchain need not be the panacea for healthcare data at this stage. A stepped approach to adoption is possible and still enhances enterprise IT security. For additional ideas, check out this post, in which we cover critical blockchain technology use cases for confidentiality, integrity, and availability as it relates to integrating with your cloud infrastructure.
Learn more about how we can help
HeraSoft’s next generation software offers a variety of products and services to improve enterprise cybersecurity.
- HeraVault™ offers distributed cloud storage with built-in replication, error correction and restoration capabilities.
- HeraFlow™, is an AI-Powered threat analysis system for fast and accurate threat data monitoring perfect for high-volume workloads and enterprise-level SOC’s.
- HeraPass™, with inherently fraud proof design, helps businesses innovate user management in IoT environments by achieving the anonymization and encryption of highly-sensitive data.
- HeraStamp™ proof-stamps mission critical data to permanent data stores and can help with data integrity in, for example, ecommerce settings.
To learn more about our enterprise blockchain solutions and how we can help, click here.