Blockchain technology is increasingly being used in the healthcare industry. Its uses are multifold, including secure storage of medical data, tracking drug supply chains, clinical research, medical patents, and patent research. One of the important uses of blockchain is for verifying the credentials of medical staff.
Verifying staff credentials is a critical process for medical institutions and companies. It ensures that the staff hired are competent and possess the necessary qualifications for their work.
However, the process faces many issues. Blockchain technology can help with making this convoluted process more efficient and secure.
Issues with the Verification of Medical Staff Credentials
The process of verifying medical staffcredentials poses certain issues for the healthindustry. These drawbacks are explained below:
Lengthy and Time-Consuming Process
Verifying credentials can be tedious and time-consuming for the hospitals, clinics, and doctors involved. Before a medical professional joins a clinic or pharmacy, the institution has to verify the qualifications. This may involve:
Cross-referencing with other medical institutions or previous employers
Confirming certificates of training and qualification
Confirming medical licenses and other documents
Cost and Administrative Burden for Stakeholders
Multiple stakeholders are usually involved in the process of verifying medical qualifications. These include hospitals, clinics, training institutions, labs, insurance agencies, medical staff, and others.
The lengthy process affects the applicants who are waiting to work and miss out on their salary. It affects the employers who need to hire staff, especially if they urgently need a replacement or new personnel.
It can also result in revenue loss for the clinic, institution, or company. This adds to the administrative burden on the providers of certificates and other medical institutions that have to respond to verification requests and confirm qualifications.
Issues with Efficiency and Accuracy
The process of verifying can be inefficient since there are so many interactions involved between different stakeholders.
The back-and-forth exchanges, checking, and response time creates scope for several inaccuracies and errors in the data recorded and the directories.
Risk of Fraud and Fake Credentials
There is also a risk of applicants making false or fraudulent representations about their medical background and providing fake licenses and certificates.
This poses a serious risk to medical competency and patient welfare. It also affects the credibility of the clinic, hospital, or entity employing the medical staff.
Given all this, there is a need for better verification, authenticity, and efficiency in the process. This is where blockchain can help.
How Blockchain Can Help Verify Credentials?
Blockchain offers various benefits for verifying medical credentials. It can save time and cost and make it more secure and reliable.
Here are the ways in which blockchaintechnology can improve the process:
Efficiency, Accuracy, and Accessibility
Using blockchain, medical credentials can be processed more efficiently. All the stakeholders involved can access the data, and updates can reach different parties at the same time.
This saves on multiple interactions and exchanges and allows for better accuracy by reducing incorrect information. The peer-to-peer network quickens the verification process and improves the accessibility and transparency of data.
Blockchain enables the secure storage of data records and identity management of medical personnel. This helps with verifying the identity of the applicants.
Using blockchain, a provider or medical professional can upload credentials and background information. This could include their educational history, licenses, certificates, references, insurance, application forms, and other documents.
Blockchain reduces the administrative burden and time loss. It allows for integrating different systems and minimizes discrepancies between different administrative and institutional systems.
Blockchain also helps with streamlining different types of medical credentials from different institutions through standardized recording of data.
In India, multiple institutions and organizations offer certificates and qualifications for medical staff and practitioners. For instance, the General Duty Assistant program (GDA program) qualifies students to take an exam and become certified medical staff in nursing homes and hospitals (General Duty Assistants).
Several medical practitioners work in a variety of capacities and have credentials with each one, which results in an administrative burden of cross-checking. Blockchain can help verify qualifications like degrees or diplomas through primary source verification.
Primary source verification allows these providers of qualifications to confirm credentials directly. Primary sources (the primary providers of the certificates or credentials) can access the blockchain and verify the information.
Medical facilities can also confirm the data using primary source verification. If the primary source accepts or denies the credential, this information can be updated on the blockchain.
Authenticity and Reliability
Blockchain can help clinics, hospitals, and medical institutions vet their staff, whether it is practitioners, nursing staff, caregiver personnel, or clinic assistants.
Primary source verification is particularly helpful for document verification as well as for verifying certificates and licenses. It can also help create a secure time chain that helps with easy viewing of an applicant's background history and medical credentials.
Blockchain verification is more reliable as other stakeholders can confirm the validity of credentials. It supports the authenticity of credentials because the institution providing the certificate can sign it with their private digital key.
This helps prevent a person from fraudulently updating a certificate by claiming to be the provider. The provider can give access to their credentials to the specific clinics, hospitals, and other stakeholders that require it.
It can help achieve greater security of medical staff data and transparency as the data cannot be tampered with.
Authentic credentials of medical staff support a healthcare provider's credibility. Competency, training, and qualifications are critical in the healthindustry because they affect the quality of healthcare services.
Administrative and time burdens are also major setbacks for clinics and hospitals and can affect the quality of their services.
Blockchain can reduce the administrative, time, and cost issues for the different stakeholders involved. It can help make the verification process more reliable and efficient. It can also ensure better accuracy and security for the data recorded.
Get started with Spydra
Spydra is a next-generation API driven Decentralization-as-a-Service platform to enable business and developers to leverage the full potential of Blockchain and the Decentralized Web Infrastructure.