UH, Axuall pilot blockchain technology to streamline clinical workforce deployment

University Hospitals has entered into a strategic collaboration with Axuall, a digital verification company in Cleveland, to pilot new mechanisms and workflows in the hopes of reducing the time it takes to deploy qualified clinical staff and meet growing patient demand, according to a news release.

The business alliance builds on work the two began together in 2019 to identify opportunities to leverage blockchain to improve how health systems attract, verify and deploy clinical talent. Axuall is a national digital network that supports clinicians, health care systems and primary-source institutions in sharing and managing authenticated credentials.

The two organizations completed the first of three phases of their pilot in February. The next phases, which will support regulatory standards, are expected to be completed this summer. During the pilot, UH and Axuall will test and measure compliance, workflow integration, physician adoption and deployment efficiency gains. Axuall will complete beta testing with UH and with several other health organizations later this year, according to the release.

“As U.S. health systems struggle to meet patient demand, expanding delivery channels and financial objectives, the efficient deployment of their clinical workforce becomes increasingly critical,” Axuall CEO Charlie Lougheed said in a prepared statement. “Global pandemics, such as COVID-19, only underscore the need for a more elastic workforce and speed to deployment. We are at the intersection of new advancements in technology and processes that, if applied correctly, can improve organizations’ ability to serve their communities, while at the same time increasing their operating efficiencies.”

Blockchain is being leveraged to improve health care administration, including workforce credentialing, revenue cycle optimization and medical supply chain safety, according to the release.

Verifying physician credentials is often a three- to four-month manual process. Blockchain and digital credential technologies offer the ability to securely ensure that verifications came from authorized sources and haven’t been tampered with, all without expensive and time-consuming manual intervention, according to the release.

“Any delays in getting clinicians permission to serve our patients put a strain on limited resources, and no more so than when we find ourselves continuously load-balancing in response to COVID-19,” David Sylvan, president of UH Ventures, said in a prepared statement. “The time and cost to traditionally credential a practitioner wastes resources – it idles the provider; it stalls vital revenue-producing activities and limits throughput. University Hospitals is excited to pilot Axuall’s novel and potentially game-changing technology.”