“EP161: Cutting Through the Blockchain Hype, With Erik Pupo From Accenture”
by Stacey Richter

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Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin. It’s sometimes called a distributed ledger, which is just a fancy way of saying that everybody in the blockchain network has a ledger on their computer, and every time a transaction occurs, every copy of the ledger on everyone’s computer gets updated. Why is that interesting in healthcare? The promise is #1, if everyone can see the transaction, then effectively we have interoperability without having interoperability. Everybody gets what they need from their own ledger. And then there’s this question of trust. If I interoperate with someone, I have to trust them with a wormhole through my firewall. With blockchain, all I need to trust is the blockchain.

Today, I speak with Erik Pupo on the use case for blockchain and what’s hype and what’s not.

Erik serves as a Managing Director in the Accenture Health Client Service Group where he manages a large team of healthcare professionals within the Clinical and Health Management Services team. He serves as the Managing Director for Healthcare Provider Technology Consulting in North America, as well as Accenture’s Blockchain lead across the healthcare service line and as a co-lead of Accenture’s Value Based Care practice in North America.

In his role, he partners with senior client executives to develop and drive healthcare transformation strategies, guide healthcare investment decisions, develop innovation roadmaps for new use of health IT, and build transformation programs in support of population health, care management, value based care, and interoperability initiatives. He also has extensive responsibilities for a diverse portfolio of sales and business development activities at major Accenture healthcare clients and leads a wide range of provider and payer sales opportunities across North America.

Erik has worked for over 20 years in healthcare, including senior positions in federal, state, and commercial healthcare programs and initiatives, and served in key leadership roles within the healthcare community. He holds leadership advisory positions within the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), and regularly speaks at industry conferences on trends influencing the healthcare industry. He received a certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CHPIMS) in 2009 and became a HIMSS Fellow in 2012.


00:00 What Blockchain is, and why it’s relevant to healthcare.
02:45 Seeing Blockchain in use and how it is useful to healthcare businesses.
04:30 What major EHR systems are doing with Blockchain.
06:00 The timeline on adopting blockchain.
08:15 Competing blockchains?
11:20 Shared control vs shared data.
13:14 How Blockchain affects verifying patient identity.
15:00 Use cases that Blockchain might not be good for.
16:30 The difference between Blockchain and HIEs.
19:50 Good investments in emerging technology for payer/providers.
22:00 How Accenture helps their clients navigate through the hype.
24:10 You can learn more at accenture.com.

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