Blockcerts help get healthcare providers into the field safely and quickly

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, a challenge lawmakers and the healthcare community face globally is how they will meet the demand for healthcare if infection rates rise.

The provider shortage

In the United States, as in many countries around the world, the COVID-19 situation quickly overwhelmed existing medical resources and capacity. When it arrived in the U.S., the country was already experiencing a shortage of healthcare providers.

Now, COVID-19 has stretched the capacity of existing providers, and frontline healthcare providers are at the highest risk for getting sick. As COVID-19 spreads through the provider population, the U.S. could see a greater shortage of medical practitioners.

While public health recommendations like social distancing have helped flatten the curve for many populations, cases will likely continue to rise in the coming months. Moreover, relaxation of social distancing restrictions prior to widespread vaccination could create a spike in new cases.

Increasing the number of healthcare providers

How is the industry preparing for this possibility?

Some countries and U.S. states have allowed medical students to graduate early in order to help meet the demand. Several states are allowing waivers of some licensing requirements and seeking volunteers to meet the need.

However, the process for issuing licenses to practice medicine or nursing creates obstacles to getting people into the field. Once all educational requirements are complete, it takes an average of three months to get a license to practice medicine in the U.S. and about a month, on average, to receive a nursing license.

Changing the way healthcare is delivered

Slow licensing and complicated license verification not only delays the ability of practitioners to see patients, it also makes it more difficult to adjust to necessary service delivery method changes arising as a response to COVID-19.

With home care on the rise, new demand for telehealth solutions, and the growing importance of first responders, healthcare provider credentials now need to be verified instantly, in the field by law enforcement, municipal authorities, and the general public, not only by the state and those with access to special licensing databases that require lookup.

Rapid verification is possible, however, with the right digital tools, like Blockcerts.

The power and possibility of Blockcerts

Healthcare credentialing software, particularly applications that leverage Blockcerts, can help streamline the process of issuing and verifying credentials, getting new medical professionals into the field faster. Blockcerts are blockchain-anchored, verifiable credentials built on an open source, open technology standard that enables free, vendor-independent ownership and verification.

Blockcerts are:

  • Tamper-proof: Cryptographically sealed and anchored to a blockchain
  • Portable: Recipient owned and shareable by link or file
  • Instantly verifiable by anyone
  • Instantly revocable by the issuing agency
  • Embedded with metadata that includes areas of specialization and permitted practice

Furthermore, they do not require special software or fees to verify, can verify the issuer of the credential, and allow for scanning the credential upon entrance.

Agencies looking to build up their healthcare workforce rapidly should consider how new technologies can help ensure they do not sacrifice public safety for speed. With Blockcerts, they may find a promising answer.

Hyland Credentials is a cloud-based digital credentialing solution that uses Blockcerts. The technology is a product of Hyland’s recent acquisition of Learning Machine, an innovator in blockchain-secured digital credentialing solutions.

By incorporating digital credentialing solutions into an overall content services strategy, your organization can generate and manage digital documents that are both easily shareable and instantly verifiable, speeding the process of getting healthcare providers into the field in a safe manner.

Natalie Smolenski

Natalie Smolenski leads business development for Hyland Innovation.

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