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How blockchain could transform healthcare systems

Blockchain is the technology that sits behind a new kind of database called a distributed ledger. It gives us a much more secure way to store and manage data. Data is shared across a network, and everyone in the network has their own identical copy of it. If anyone changes the data, it shows up in all the copies within minutes, or even seconds. That makes it more difficult to attack a blockchain database than a single one, where the data is all in one place. It’s also harder to tamper with the data, because the members of the blockchain network will immediately spot a change to one part of the database. In a series of papers we explore the benefits of blockchain to the healthcare sector. In this paper we look at how blockchain could improve the prescriptions system.

The need for multiple parties to share data

The need for multiple parties to share data:

  • prescriptions can be accessed by the appropriate authorised individuals;
  • authorised users know the prescription is the most up to date version and who the prescriber is;
  • data is transparent and visible to authorised parties.
Multiple parties able to update data

Multiple parties able to update data:

  • prescribers can add information to the system to ensure prescribing data is relevant and accurate;
  • dispensing errors are minimised.


  • prescriptions can be trusted;
  • prescribers registration status is verified;
  • prescribing details are accurate and precise thus avoiding dispensing errors;
  • fraudulent prescriptions are minimised.



  • prescriptions can be directly transferred from prescriber to dispenser;
  • reduction in translation and data transfer errors.


  • quick transfer of prescriptions in a secure environment;
  • improved patient safety and patient experience;
  • monthly prescription audits completed more efficiently.
Transaction efficiency

Transaction efficiency:

  • pharmacists able to query a prescription;
  • prescribing and dispensing data available to authorised individuals to ensure effective and accurate prescribing;
  • prescribers, dispensers and patient sable to interact effectively and efficiently.

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