The clinic estimates that the use of the blockchain platform would reduce billing time by 90% and errors in purchase orders for medical supplies by 60%.

Las Américas Aúna Clinic, located in the city of Medellín, in Colombia, recently reported the start of the project that seeks to implement blockchain technology to improve traceability in medical supplies.

According to the announcement, the clinic will install a version of the blockchain network supported by Hyperledger Fabric, which will help provide traceability support on surgical supplies for key sectors in the clinic.

Citizens recognize this clinic for being an oncology specialty center. Now, this clinic will use blockchain technology, mainly, for the management and control of supplies for the emergency room. Representatives of the clinic also hope to apply the tool for monitoring clinical devices and medical machinery.

A consortium of Peruvian companies specialized in the health sector acquired the clinic since 2018. The current administration is looking for new tools that help facilitate processes. The introduction of IBM’s private blockchain network could better activate the input supply chain.

According to estimates from the clinic’s administrative board, the blockchain system could reduce billing time by 90%, and would eliminate almost 60% of errors, which are commonly made when making a purchase order.

Gabriel Cendales, Manager of the clinic, commented that by installing the blockchain system, the data will have greater visibility among the registries; thus, helping to avoid errors in the different stages of the supply chain.

The installation of a blockchain network in the health sector could bring many benefits for hospital administration and management. This is what the IBM website points out, which deals with issues related to its blockchain platform.

Among the most notable features of the website is that the use of the network can reduce costs in sales processes. Besides, it can maintain a medical record electronically, stored for much longer than in the traditional way.

Also, this clinic can establish a joint and network with other medical institutions to exchange records, and even establish sanitary measures supported by standards that the parties involved agree.

Challenges in the Blockchain Network for Supply Chains

Currently, many traditional companies have made an important turn towards the use of innovative technologies such as blockchain to improve communication, and management and administration processes. This action has led to significant benefits.

Some of those benefits are cost reduction, efficiency in registration, or process times that require authorization. Besides, blockchain technology improves security and risk reduction in counterfeits, and even in the improvement of each stage that corresponds to the supply chain.

Although the use of the network can suppose a set of solutions, it is also feasible that it could represent a significant risk if the company did not use it properly. As happens in traditional systems, the blockchain system can be vulnerable to mismanagement and use misapplied controls for the type of business the company tries to implement.

It is for this reason that, to apply this system in any industry, it must have the proper assistance and guidance. Because of this, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in the United States of America, published a document a few years ago, detailing the characteristics of blockchain technology, as well as a guide to apply this technology in different companies.

By María Rodríguez


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