TEKsystems and HIMSS Partner on Focus Group to Discover State of Blockchain Solutions in Healthcare
Feb. 5, 2019 | HANOVER, MD
Research Indicates Healthcare Professionals Intrigued by Blockchain, but Seeking Real-World Use Cases
TEKsystems®, a provider of full-stack technology services that address the pressing strategy, implementation and talent needs for more than 80% of the Fortune 500, recently partnered with HIMSS Analytics, a global healthcare IT market intelligence, research and standards organization, to conduct a focus group with healthcare IT leaders on the topic of blockchain solutions. The focus group revealed insights into the current state of blockchain in healthcare, and potential business benefits and barriers to implementation.
In addition to partnering with HIMSS Analytics for the focus group, TEKsystems will attend HIMSS 2019, taking place in Orlando from Feb. 11–15, 2019. Ben Flock, TEKsystems’ chief healthcare strategist, and Dennis Genetski, global delivery executive for TEKsystems, will be available during the event to elaborate upon the results of the blockchain focus group.
The goal of the focus group was to discover what challenges healthcare IT experts are currently facing relevant to blockchain development and implementation, and to determine possible solutions for getting pilot programs from concept to reality. Specifically, participants were asked to consider what improvements blockchain could bring to healthcare businesses, what obstacles may be in the way and what top industry short-term and long-term use cases could entail.
“What we’re currently seeing in the healthcare industry is a lot of excitement surrounding blockchain’s potential, but there is some reluctance when it comes to testing and implementing,” Flock says. “Healthcare tech leaders want to know the best use cases that will produce the best ROI, but there is apprehension surrounding being the first to do so. It’s clear that there is an immediate need for education, validation and quantification.”
During the focus group, participants noted that one of the biggest barriers to implementation was the lack of education surrounding blockchain, making it difficult for them to champion it in their organizations. Other barriers included concerns about data ownership, fearing a loss of control of data and revenue streams, unspecified governance and compliant standards as well as the fact that healthcare is, by nature, a risk-averse industry when it comes to new technology. Participants agreed that once there are concrete examples for where blockchain is valuable, testing and implementation will likely begin to more rapidly advance.
“Take provider credentialing—all physicians are required to be credentialed and make that information public and updated annually. Today the process is lengthy, manual and costly,” Flock says. “Blockchain technology could automate the entire credentialing process. It’s a great use case because it’s low risk and uses public information, serving up a strong business ROI as a proof of concept.”
Flock and Genetski caution that for a blockchain use case proof of concept to be successful, organizations need to secure sponsors committed to discovering use cases, manage risk by avoiding protected health information (PHI), work with well-defined data sets, set a clear time frame and create organization-wide transparency. Near-term proof of concepts will help the industry better understand and address long-term challenges of, or barriers to, blockchain and take on more complex use cases.
“The amount of excitement surrounding blockchain in the healthcare industry is indicative that its implementation is on the horizon,” says Genetski. “Organizations must begin learning about its value to the industry and identifying use cases as soon as possible, or risk being left behind when the technology goes mainstream.”
To discuss the results of the focus group with Flock or Genetski either before or during HIMSS 2019, please contact TEKsystems@teamlewis.com.
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