Blockchain

Why Blockchain is the Safest e-Signature Technology Option for Health Care

Implementing the right electronic signature solution can streamline your health care workflows and save your staff enormous time and frustration from having to manually gather patient signatures and securely store those documents.

But home-based care agencies also need to find out whether an e-signature provider’s security protocols are sufficient to satisfy the privacy requirements of health care regulators. After all, those electronic signatures will in most cases be attached to documents containing highly personal, sensitive information about your patients. The process your organization uses to store and protect such documents could make the difference between compliance and noncompliance.

Your medical practice maintains electronic records of numerous forms containing patients’ personal health data and various administrative documents — along with signatures from both the patients themselves and other providers in their continuum of care. Here is a look at why blockchain is the best technology for e-signatures in health care, specifically in skilled
nursing facilities.

Every home-based care company faces a question around its e-signature process: “Does the e-signature process my practice uses to collect and store electronic records meet HIPAA standards for patient data confidentiality and security?”

Yet along with HIPAA, there are other data-privacy regulations that SNFs must consider, namely the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Operators must know how these laws work together and overlap.

“Calculating the perceived cost in updating or modifying existing technologies to meet regulations can be problematic for the average health care organization, especially without a compliance expert to provide direction,” says Bevey Miner, Chief Marketing Officer, Consensus Cloud Solutions, a global health care IT company and leading provider of secure, interoperability solutions.

Fortunately, affordable technology is available to help resolve this issue.

How blockchain creates secure, tamper-proof documents

Once again, blockchain offers unique advantages. First, few technologies have ever proven to be more secure or tamper-proof than blockchain. If you change anything in the blockchain, the entire chain is invalidated. Most federal data-privacy laws, including HIPAA, are intentionally vague about which systems and processes regulated businesses should use.

Regulators expect businesses to identify and deploy the most sophisticated and proven data-protection solutions available. Blockchain technology tracks each entity of the various e-signature components, such as timestamps, signer ID and document hash. This impenetrable audit trail adds security while helping SNFs stand up to any legal challenge.

Second, because blockchain-based data is broadcast to numerous, decentralized private or external networks, and every update to those sites is recorded in chronological order, it is impossible to alter an existing block of data in any way without creating a record of the update. From a regulatory standpoint, this means your organization will be able to demonstrate to auditors that your patient data is not only secure but that it has never been altered or otherwise compromised since your team placed it in secure electronic storage.

Lastly, blockchain’s distributed network design — even in a private network — further adds to security and protection of documents and the signature process. SNFs that do not employ blockchain technology for their e-signatures can be open to a bevy of risks in privacy, security and legal action.

“Blockchain technology, as used in other industries, is the most efficient way to audit and protect data and should be deployed in health care,” Miner says. “While other e-signature solutions may simply say they are HIPPAA compliant, they may still leave their users open to inefficient audit trails.”

Don’t settle for anything less than blockchain

“The bottom line is simple,” Miner says.

“Blockchain technology is naturally suited for an e-signature solution as it can easily, simply and effectively perform the required services for an e-signing process, while adding the superior tamper-proof audit trail, and security required.” she says.

This article is sponsored by Consensus Cloud Solutions. To learn more about jSign, a simple, affordable and effective e-signature solution built on blockchain, visit www.consensus.com/jsign.

When not covering senior news, Jack Silverstein is a sports historian and staff writer for SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron, making regular guest spots on WGN and 670-AM, The Score. His work has appeared in Chicago Tribune, RedEye Chicago, ChicagoNow, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Chicago Magazine, and others.

Every home-based care company faces a question around its e-signature process: “Does the e-signature process my practice uses to collect and store electronic records meet HIPAA standards for patient data confidentiality and security?”

Source: https://skillednursingnews.com/2022/01/why-blockchain-is-the-safest-e-signature-technology-option-for-health-care/

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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