This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Healthcare series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and healthcare.
In this interview we speak with Robb Duke, Vice President of Marketing for Intiva Health, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the healthcare business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Intiva Health? Why and how did you begin?
RD: Intiva Health began as a practice management and healthcare recruitment firm. We specialized in anesthesia, emergency medicine, and hospitalist medicine. As part of the process of hiring and managing medical providers across various specialties and license types, our organization was responsible for the collection and delivery of credentials for privileging. We quickly learned that this is a time-consuming, manual process that was costing our organization and the facilities time and money. We also learned that there were many gaps in credentialing and compliance that exposed the providers and the facilities to legal and financial liabilities. So, we thought there has to be a way to overcome this slow, inefficient process. That thought led to the development of Ready Doc™, which many medical providers and facilities now use. As we were developing that, we also began to introduce continuing medical education courses for doctors and nurses and built out a careers component to help them find jobs.
2. Please describe your use case and how Intiva Health uses blockchain:
RD: We’re providing a secure location for doctors, nurses, and facility administrators to store, track, and share important healthcare documents. But instead of blockchain, we use a hashgraph-based distributed ledger that streamlines the process of verifying these credentials. This means a document that would otherwise have to be verified multiple times (this takes lots of time) by different parties (this costs a lot) no longer needs to be re-verified. The transformation comes from the distributed ledger technology that places an immutable time stamp on the document each time it’s verified. It can’t be altered by bad actors. It can be trusted as an authentic document. It’s a very achievable future that will eliminate the unnecessary time, cost and risk out of provider credential management.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
RD: We’re helping two groups of people. The first is medical practice administrators. These are overburdened people who we’re helping automate and streamline the management and credentialing of their providers. Usually, they’re either doing this manually with spreadsheets or paying a lot of money for software. But that’s not necessary. They can do that with us for free. The other group we’re helping is medical providers. We’re giving them control over their critical documents and sending them reminders of when they need to renew their credentials. We’re also giving them a secure place to store and share all of their credentials.
4. What other blockchain use cases in healthcare are you excited about?
RD: The use cases I’m excited about have the same benefits as our own, and that benefit is the immutability of information. The manual updating of document credentialing and re-verifying will both be going away someday. It doesn’t need to happen anymore. So, I’m busy just loving our own company’s future because it’s still so early and exciting. I’ve heard blockchain’s current state be compared to the beginning of the internet. It seemed cool but you couldn’t imagine what it’d be one day. It’s like 1996 internet-era again. In a few years, blockchain—or hashgraph for Intiva Health— is going to be obvious and mainstream just like the internet became obvious and mainstream.
5. Where will Intiva Health be in 5 years?
RD: We want to expand Ready Doc capabilities to other industries. We already have a foot in education and government and want to see where else our products can be beneficial. But we want to conquer healthcare credential management first. In five years, I also assume we will have completed our first mission, which is reinventing healthcare credentialing. What we mean by that is streamlining and automating the credentialing process and removing primary source verification as a time-consuming, laborious process. We plan to have a huge percentage of the market share of hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, and health systems using our solution alongside other solutions they use, like EHRs.