ONC Releases Blue Button Implementation Guide

Blue Button

Blue Button Advances to the Next Stage

The Blue Button Initiative was launched in August 2010 in an effort to accelerate patient access to their health records. The button allows patients to download their personal health information from their MyHealthVet account to their computers, smart phones, thumb drives and more. Last August the one millionth patient registered for the Blue Button.

Last week the ONC announced the release of Blue Button+, taking the original Blue Button a step further in patient accessibility to their health data. The new and improved version now includes interoperable standards so that structured EHR data can flow between third-party consumer health data applications in an unstructured format. The announcement and details were made at a webinar co-hosted by the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) and the ONC. You can view the presentation slides and downloaded the recorded webinar.

From a report about the webinar by Healthcare-Informatics.com:

This is the next evolution of the Blue Button, which has for the most part allowed consumers to view an American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) text file, or as members of the ONC called it – “a receipt.” This moves Blue Button further beyond its place as an actual tool and more into a concept, as the members of ONC called it – “a brand.” The government mentioned working with providers, payers, vendors, and other interested stakeholders, both start-up and established, to get them to implement a consumer friendly Blue Button.

Hand-in-hand with the announcement is the release of a Blue Button+ implementation guide. The guide is intended to aid developers in building tools for integrating Blue Button+ in a patient portal. The guide details the requirements for providing Blue Button+ to dataholders (providers, payors, vendors) and “receivers” such as personal health records, apps and other services.

Learn more at BlueButton+ website.