Connecting Medical Records Without Compromising on Privacy

Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption rates are soaring, which is fantastic for an industry that is often criticized for being slow to adopt new technology. Less than a decade ago, nine out of ten doctors in the U.S. updated their patients’ records by hand and stored them in color-coded files. By the end of 2017, approximately 90% of office-based physicians nationwide will be using electronic health records (EHRs).


Health records are changing quickly — however, concerns over the privacy and security breaches of EHRs especially electronic protected health information (ePHI) continues to plague the healthcare industry—and the trend shows no signs of abating.


Although little evidence exists with which to gauge the vulnerability of electronic health information to outside attacks – the numbers speak for themselves. More than 25 million patient records were reportedly compromised as of October 2016. And then, in November, the cases spiked: There were 57 health data breaches—the highest of all months in 2016, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer. Data breaches stemmed from hacking, malware and ransomware agents as well breaches caused by inside employees – such as theft of a portable device for example.


Connecting Medical Records

Health and government organizations spend a significant amount of time and money setting up and managing traditional information systems and data exchanges; requiring resources to continuously troubleshoot issues, update field parameters, perform backup and recovery measures, and extract information for reporting purposes.


Federal laws and incentive programs have made healthcare data more accessible, in response to hospital pushback regarding EMR implementation. However, the vast majority of hospital systems still can’t easily (or safely) share their data. You only need to ask your primary care doctor to share information with your allergist or surgeon, to know what a headache this is.


As a result, doctors are spending more time typing than actually talking to patients. Physician burnouts jumped from 45 to 54 percent between 2011 and 2014, according to a Mayo Clinic study.


The new healthcare paradigm demands the need for effective and optimal care delivery for patients to yield better care outcomes. To do this, the most popular strategy circulating among healthcare technologists is blockchain.


There has been a lot of buzz about blockchain transforming healthcare recently. At Patientory, we are building a blockchain powered health information exchange (HIE) that can unlock the true value of interoperability and cyber security.


Our system has the potential to eliminate the friction and costs of current third party intermediaries, when considering population health management. There are promises of improved data integrity, decentralization and disintermediation of trust, and reduced transaction costs.  


Being able to coordinate patient care via a blockchain HIE essentially alleviates unnecessary services and duplicate tests with lowering costs and improvements in efficiencies of the continuum care cycle.


Without Compromising on Privacy

Implementation of blockchain technology to ensure and enhance data security for all the medical records associated with the system can achieve zero health breaches and ultimate decentralization of record ownership. The process of encrypting data when sent to database using different algorithms and decrypting it during the retrieval will be used in our solution..


This gives it unprecedented security benefits. Hacking one block in the chain is impossible without simultaneously hacking every other block in the chain’s chronology. This makes blockchain incredibly appealing to the doctors and hospitals that need secure access to a patient’s entire health history.


Now is the right time to take a fresh approach to data sharing in healthcare.  A patient-centered protocol supported by blockchain technology, Patientory is changing the way healthcare stakeholders manage electronic medical data and interact with clinical care teams.


Through use of our mobile app, Patientory users create an individual profile. Their medical information is then stored on a secure, HIPAA-compliant blockchain platform, allowing them to connect with care providers as well as other patients who have similar health issues or concerns. This allows patients greater control over their overall health across multiple care teams, both inside and outside of the hospital.


We’re not only working to fill the gaps in our health system, but we’re looking to play a vital role in the future of healthcare.


Blockchain and Healthcare

Hacking HIPAA: Blockchain and Healthcare

Blockchain has finally reached healthcare and making headlines! However, any healthcare provider that electronically store, process or transmit medical records, medical claims, remittances, or certifications must comply with HIPAA regulations. With Patientory, this not only applies to the provider but to the patient as well.

Fortunately, HIPAA requires that all patients be able access their own medical records, correct errors or omissions, and be informed how personal information is shared used. So why wasn’t Patientory and blockchain created years ago? Patientory’s blockchain application to the health industry will only strengthen security for easier compliance of HIPAA best practices for the patient and provider.

Patientory’s use of blockchain follows HIPAA Security Rules, including but not lmited to:

  • Administrative Safeguards – Assignment of a HIPAA security compliance team.
  • Physical Safeguards – Protection of electronic systems, equipment and data.
  • Technical Safeguards – Authentication & encryption used to control data access.

This ensures covered entities maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for protecting Electronic Protected Health Information (e-PHI), with 0 health breaches.

Specifically, Patientory’s proprietary blockchain technology achieves 0 health breaches by:

  1. Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all e-PHI they create, receive, maintain or transmit;
  2. Identifying and protecting against reasonably anticipated threats to the security or integrity of the information;
  3. Protecting against reasonably anticipated, impermissible uses or disclosures; and
  4. Ensures compliance by workforce

Patientory is transforming healthcare, by placing the patient at the center of the health care ecosystem and increasing the security, privacy, and interoperability of health data.

Tools for Successful Patient Engagement

To support your patient engagement strategy, you need a combination of tools across your healthcare organization. These tools should share the same overall objective – to help your patients better engage, understand, and become active (24/7) participants in their own healthcare.

Patient engagement can mean different things to different groups of people –providers versus patients, for example. What is most important is to manage evolving patient engagement demands, and on a broader scope, to satisfy regulatory requirements for better population health and improved patient outcomes.

To satisfy patient engagement needs – and approach healthcare more holistically – you need the expertise and technology tools that work well together and deliver results that demonstrate value, drive better population health, and lower care costs. One step to achieving this goal is by having patients more involved in their health, which means access to their health information and support networks. Patientory solutions have you covered:

  • Combining the power of rapid and secure medical record access with a patient community platform
  • Increase patient engagement with care coordination
  • More intelligently allocate time and resources for improved care
  • Software to ensure regulatory requirements

What does patient engagement mean to you? What tools do you currently use? Are there additional solutions you’ve considered to help boost your engagement efforts during the transition to value-based care? Can you automatically and systematically engage with your patients anywhere, anytime?

Patientory can help answer your questions and put you on the path to better patient engagement and satisfaction as you transition to value-based care.

Owning Your Health Information

When it comes to your health, knowledge and communication are two key factors that will save you time, money, and possibly even your life. Yet, why as Americans, do we find access to these two things so rare when it comes to our personal health records?

A Personal Story with Accessing Medical Records

Healthcare from a writer’s perspective: About a month after finding out I was pregnant with my first child, I moved a few towns over and switched hospitals. The new hospital asked me to fill out a medical records request form that would then be faxed to my previous hospital. It has been almost 4 months, and we still have not received my medical records…even after countless faxes and phone calls. Blame it on the hormones if you may, but I have literally broken down in tears while pleading with both my new and my previous hospital as to how I can possibly get my medical records.

Lucky for me, both my baby and I are healthy and not in need of immediate or emergency medical intervention. But that is not the case for all patients. Not everyone has the luxury of waiting months for their own medical records.

We typically have a pediatrician, primary care physician, specialty doctors, and then perhaps the hopefully rare emergency care. And let’s face it, these doctors are not meeting up for lunch on a regular basis to discuss your health history.

How do you maintain consistent knowledge and strong communication when it comes to your health? You don’t rely on fax machines, that’s for sure.

Where are my records?

All over the place! The main problem with the existing system we have for holding and obtaining records…is that there is no system. No centralized system at least.

As it is now, different healthcare organizations use different systems, which causes barriers in accessing and sharing medical records. This especially true when dealing with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

“The problem is that you have institutions whose business models do not favor sharing information, either with other hospitals or patients,”

—Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

Not only is not having easy and immediate access to all of your health care records frustrating…it’s dangerous. Without it you risk:

  • Delayed Diagnosis and treatment
  • Delayed access to critical information in emergency situations
  • Rising incidence of chronic diseases and resultant need to cut costs
  • Wasted time and money

A Better Way for a Healthy Life

Americans have moved way beyond looking up symptoms on People want real experiences and real prognoses. We live in a world where people share everything from what they ate for breakfast to photos of their child’s first moments in this world. The new generations want to draw information from those who have gone through what they are going through and then share their own experiences.

The social aspect of having a medical community helps patients feel empowered…like they are not alone in what they are going through. It’s as much for support as it is for gathering information.

Giving Power Back To The Patients

Information is power…and power can heal. When people have full access to their medical history, they are empowered to take charge of their health and able to take better care of themselves and their family.

A Solution for the Online Generation

Does anyone else find it difficult to believe that fax machines still even exist?! It seems only natural that in this age of smartphones, online communication and streaming information, we have instant, online access to all of our medical records.

The benefits of Personal Health Records are hugely significant at both a personal and an institutional level. Besides the obvious benefit of having all of your medical records at your fingertips at any given time, other advantages include:

  • Reduction in errors due to illegible handwriting, lost information, and basic human error
  • Immediate lifesaving alerts for dangerous pharmaceutical interactions
  • Increase in communication between patient and doctor
  • More proactive preventative care resulting from patient awareness
  • Dramatic increase in both quality and efficiency of care
  • Saving billions of dollars annually on healthcare as a nation

Personal Health Records are the most efficient and cost effective way to get medical records into the hands of those who need it most…the patient. When it comes down to it, you know yourself better than anyone, and you should be the one leading the charge to a healthy life.

Patientory simply collects your medical record history in one platform and connects you to patients with similar health issues and concerns.

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