Blue Button PHR Hits Milestone
The Blue Button Initiative was launched in August 2010 in an effort to accelerate patient access to their health records. The Blue Button functionality allows patients to download their personal health information from their MyHealthVet account to their computers, smart phones, thumb drives and more. Last week the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that during the month of August, the one millionth patient registered for Blue Button to access and download their Personal Health Record (PHR) information.
“Since President Obama announced the availability of Blue Button two years ago, VA has worked tirelessly with our sister agencies to make online access to personal health records convenient, reliable, and safe. I am very pleased with our progress,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. Speaking to the issues of reliability and safety, VA Officials say that because the Blue Button is Web-based, the information is available anywhere, any time and that security measures are identical to those employed by online retail sites accepting credit cards.
One million is a big number but the initiative is just beginning. The Blue Button will see an ever widening audience as more non-profit organizations and health care industry partners like Kaiser Permanente and Aetna adopt it as an integral part of their customer health records. In July it was announced that UnitedHealthcare had signed on as a Blue Button partner.
“We are just thrilled to see how Blue Button has expanded so quickly, both in the richness of its content as well as the number of institutions that have pledged to make their data available,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. He went on to say that Blue Button has become the model of data liberation throughout the Federal Government. “Data is the rocket fuel of job creation in the high tech sector. Blue Button is just a terrific example of what people can do once we liberate their data – safely and privately – from our vaults.”