A Pragmatic Solution to a Major Interoperability Problem: Using Blockchain for the Nationwide Patient Index

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Michael L Gagnon
Grant Stephen


Associating the health-related records and transactions of patients with their numerous “identities” as they interact with different healthcare providers, payers, pharmacy benefit managers and other entities is an expensive and complex problem. With many years of experience addressing this issue in different healthcare systems and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), it is apparent that there is now a compelling and relatively straightforward technical solution for this problem. Presented here is a broadly feasible and technically compelling argument for a blockchain-based approach to addressing these issues. At the same time, challenges ahead and potential strategies to address them are discussed.

Keywords: Blockchain; Master Patient Index; MPI; Distributed Ledger; Patient Identity; HIE; Health
Information Exchange


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How to Cite
Gagnon, M., & Stephen, G. (2018). A Pragmatic Solution to a Major Interoperability Problem: Using Blockchain for the Nationwide Patient Index. Blockchain in Healthcare Today, 1. https://doi.org/10.30953/bhty.v1.28
Research Article: Use Cases/Pilots/Methodologies
Author Biographies

Michael L Gagnon, HealtHIE Nevada

Michael L. Gagnon, CPHIMS is the Executive Director of HealtHIE Nevada the state-wide health information exchange in Nevada and the former Chief Technology Officer of Vermont Information Technology Leaders, the state HIE in Vermont. Michael also serves as the Chair of the Western Member Council of the Strategic HIE Collaborative’s Patient Centered Data Home initiative. Michael has been involved with health information technology for over 27 years and focused on health information exchange for the last 15 years. You can contact Michael at mgagnon@healthinsight.org.

Grant Stephen, bPrescient, Inc

Grant Stephen is a leading strategic advisor to healthcare and life science organizations seeking to utilize their data to solve key business problems. He is the CEO of bPrescient, a management and implementation consultancy specializing in the data challenges of providers, payers and life sciences firms. You can contact him at gstephen@bprescient.com.