ONC’s Automate Blue Button Initiative

Automate Blue Button Initiative Kicks Off

The Blue Button Concept is to provide patients with a simple way to download medical records from providers, insurers, pharmacies, or other related health services. Leading the initiative, the US Department of Veterans Affairs(VA), Medicare, and TRICARE already have hundreds of thousands of patients that have Blue Button available to them.

Last June the Patient Access Summit revealed these as what would make the Blue Button better.

  1. Enable automated downloads – Currently patients have to refresh their health information by pressing the Blue Button multiple times. Development of a “set it and forget it” or “Auto Blue Button” function would allow such updates to happen automatically based on patient preferences.
  2. Address patient identity proofing and authentication – To help Blue Button to spread while protecting the privacy of patients, we need effective ways to ensure that individuals are who they claim to be.
  3. Establish standards for claims and clinical data content for consumers – Many of the leading health insurance companies have agreed to use Blue Button, but work is needed to define the types of content that patients will receive from them in a standardized way.

Now the ONC and the VA want your help. To make sure everyone has their most current personal health information when they need it, the ONC and VA is launching the Automate Blue Button Initiative. The initiative will develop standards and specifications “that allow patients to not only download their health information to their personal computer, but also to privately and securely automate the sending of that data from their health care providers to their personal health records, email accounts, health-related applications, or other preferred holding place.”

To learn more about the Automate Blue Button initiative and how you can help register for a the webinar on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM ET.