Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How the XYO Network Can Help Hospitals Avoid Life-Threatening Mistakes

Hospitals are supposed to be places that will heal you; if you are sick, you depend on the hospital systems and staff to keep you alive. Unfortunately, the trust we all place in current hospital systems might be unjustified. According to a study by John Hopkins School of Medicine, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Medical errors range from unnecessary surgeries and inappropriate administration of drugs to misfiled information and operational errors but are all completely avoidable. Even the simplest of medical mistakes can have life-threatening consequences.

XY Oracle Network has found a solution to this pervasive problem through the use of its XYO Network.

What is the XY Oracle Network?

The XY Oracle Network (XYO Network) is a system of connected devices that verify data to create a trustless and decentralized system. The connected devices include Sentinels (The Data Gatherers), Bridges (The Data Relayers), Archivists (The Data Storers) and Diviners (The Answer Aggregators).

In a real-world scenario, the Sentinels would gather location-based information through sensors or other types of data collection methods. The Bridges would take this data from the Sentinels and give it to the Archivists. The Archivists would store the information and ultimately pass the information to the Diviners. Finally, the Diviners could analyze the location heuristics (data points based on real-world information relative to the location of the Sentinel) and generate answers to questions as well as assign them an accuracy score.

A key point is the accuracy score, also known as the Origin Chain Score, which confirms the data that businesses and other entities would want to verify. The location-based aspect of the XYO Network allows for data to be tracked and stored independently of a centralized system, and therefore eliminates some (if not most) of the uncertainty in the veracity of the data in the Origin Chain Score. All of the data in the chain can be traced back to a time, date and location for verification.

The XYO Network can be used to solve problems for a variety of businesses and other organizations that lack the means to verify the origin location of data. It helps to more conveniently store data in a way that is verifiable. The potential applications of this network are seemingly limitless.

Why are hospitals making so many life-threatening mistakes?

More and more people are dying or are seriously injured by medical mistakes, but what are hospitals doing about it? Of course, they are trying their best to lessen these significant mistakes. However, it is hard to do with the systems they currently have available to them.

Hospitals are environments with a fast pace and high stakes atmosphere. You almost never walk into a hospital unless something is horribly wrong. The doctors, nurses, and other staff have a lot on their plates as the hop from patient to patient trying to administer appropriate medical procedures with the information they have available.

What information do they have available? The charts in their hands might not be the most accurate documents in the world, which is a huge problem. Without accurate information, how can these medical professionals be expected to do their job well?

Hospital staff members are also responsible for recording and disseminating the information associated with each patient through computer systems that may not accurately reflect all of their needs. The simple fact that humans make mistakes ensures that this system will produce some medical errors. With all of the possibilities for a mistake, it is amazing that there are not even more medical errors.

If the problem is in the information, why hasn’t it been remedied yet?  Traditional computers systems in hospitals are just not that great at minimizing mistakes. The systems are centralized, easily inaccurate on accident, inadequate for the job at hand and rely on error-prone humans to enter the appropriate information.

How can blockchain projects help hospitals?

The XYO Network could tie itself into the existing operational framework of hospitals without a large disruption and potentially eliminate or reduce the number of medical error deaths and injuries in the hospital. The XYO network would eliminate the common communication failures and record keeping mix-ups that allows many people to die or be seriously injured by medical errors.

The XYO network would provide a trustless and decentralized system of independently verified medical records of all patient interactions in the hospital. These interactions would include patient interaction with all staff members and interactions with common hospital equipment. Interactions with hospital equipment would lead to the recording of a patient’s vital signs, treatment details, medications administered, test results and more. A combination of all this information would lead to an organized chain of information for each patient in the hospital.

Imagine what that would mean for hospital patients and staff! The medical staff would have the accurate information they need to appropriately treat their patients with confidence. If medical professionals were provided with this accurate information on the patient in front of them, then medical errors would likely decrease dramatically.

Hospitals would benefit because medical errors are a huge problem in their business. No business wants to kill its patients by accident.

The patients would also benefit substantially from the installation of the XYO Network in their hospital because it is less likely that a medical error would injure or kill them.

How would the XYO Network be used in a hospital setting?

The basic premise of the XYO Network involving Sentinels, Bridges, Archivists, and Diviners would remain the same. The network would just be implemented in a new setting on existing hospital infrastructure.

Currently, when a patient enters the hospital they are given an identification bracelet. After the XYO Network has been implemented, the identification bracelet will double as an XYO Network Sentinel. The Sentinel on the patient’s wrist would remain with him or her as they progressed through the different parts of the hospital. As the patient was taken from place to place, the Sentinel would record any interactions with other devices on the XYO Network. The number and type of devices that could be on the network is extensive, but would likely vary based on the treatment available at a given hospital. These other devices would also act as Sentinels that recorded the information for each patient that was connected to the machine. As various doctors and nurses treat the patient, the interactions would be recorded on the patient’s ledger, as well as the Sentinel associated with that hospital staff member.

Each of these interactions would be recorded to create a comprehensive log of verifiable data that is easily accessible to any medical professional attempting to provide the best possible care to their patient. The log would include all of the interactions between hospital staff and patients, patient vital signs, treatment details, test results and more. The log of data would serve as the most important part of the system because, without the complete set of knowledge, the problem of inaccurate and incomplete records would not be solved.

A patient’s monitor would act as a Bridge to an Archivist. The hospital staff would still be able to query the Diviner for information on their patient if they wanted to find any specific information.

The difference between this and current hospital systems is that these interactions would be recorded by the XYO Network and could be verified with a high degree of certainty. Each interaction can be traced back to a verified time, place and location.  This would allow medical staff to trust the information in the patient log, instead of just hoping that no critical errors have been made along the way. If something does not seem right to the doctor, then he or she can easily verify the information through the patient ledger and the Diviner.

How would implementing the XYO Network reduce medical errors?

Record keeping errors can have catastrophic effects that lead to life-threatening medical errors.  People make mistakes, it just happens. The sheer number of records that are made each day in any individual hospital makes the possibility of a mistake very probable.

A patient can be in the hospital for days, weeks or even months at a time. Given that long time frame, the possibility for human error in the recording of any of the information necessary for effective treatment is large. However, if the XYO Network is implemented in these hospital systems, the potential for human error would be eliminated.

If hospitals were to implement this system, then devastating medical errors would likely decrease as a direct result of verifiable data that can be easily traced back to a date, time and location of the creation of the record. It would help doctors make better treatment plans and help more patients survive their already tenuous time in the hospital.

Mistakes in hospital record keeping are a real problem, but it the XYO Network has a viable solution to offer to hospitals. The simple fact that all of the patient’s data would be independently verified by a location-based system means that there would be a decrease in medical error deaths as a result of more accurate record keeping.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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