New Blue Button Directory Unveiled at HIMSS17

Press Release | National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) | February 20, 2017

Lightweight Enabling Technology Designed to Streamline Patient Access to Data

ORLANDO, FL (February 20, 2017) --The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) today unveiled NATE's Blue Button Directory (NBBD) at the HIMSS17 annual conference in Orlando, FL. This FHIR-based solution is the newest prototype being developed by NATE to make it easier for consumers and providers to share data to improve outcomes.

Consumers are actively requesting their medical records and providers want to share them but there is often a workflow disconnect between the two. As part of the Federal Health Architecture's vignette in the HIMSS17 Interoperability Showcase (Level 2 | Lobby F | Tangerine Ballroom | Booth 9000), NATE and its partners are demonstrating how a simple enabling infrastructure can alleviate this problem.

"NATE's Blue Button Directory solves a significant real-world problem," said Aaron Seib, NATE CEO. "One lesson we've learned is that merely having the technical capability available is insufficient. From a technical perspective, provider-facing Direct secure messaging accounts created in compliance with HIPAA and designed to support exchange between providers can readily be configured to enable exchange with consumer-facing Direct accounts created in compliance with applicable laws and regulations as enforced by the FTC. This disconnect hasn't so much been about how to do it technically, it's been more about how to make it easy for provider organizations to use Direct to communicate with patients in a way that fits with their existing workflow and business processes. That's what the NBBD is designed to do."

A lack of facile interoperability between a provider and a consumer can be a real detriment to both the provider's experience and the consumer's, and can inadvertently cause regulatory issues for staff. In the Interoperability Showcase, NATE is demonstrating how using the right technology in the right way can improve processes for everyone. The NBBD prototype allows patients to discover online how best to submit their request for health information and establishes a secure end-point for the HIPAA-covered entity's staff responsible for managing these requests. Visitors to the Interoperability Showcase will learn how organizations can register the appropriate staff (e.g. medical records department) in a FHIR-based directory, and see how the provisioning of a Direct address enables bi-directional exchange with the consumer-controlled apps participating in the NATE Blue Button for Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle. NATE's demonstration will include solutions for providers that do not yet possess certified EHR technology.

NATE has recruited an exceptional group of partners to participate in the NBBD demonstration:

NATE is currently seeking partners to bring the NBBD prototype into full production. Stakeholders interested in learning more should contact NATE's CEO Aaron Seib at [email protected].

About National Association for Trusted Exchange

The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) is a not-for-profit membership association focused on enabling trusted exchange among organizations and individuals with differing regulatory environments and exchange preferences. NATE brings the expertise of its membership and other stakeholders together to find common solutions that optimize the appropriate exchange of health information for greater gains in technology adoption and improvement of patient outcomes. Consistent with NATE's mission to address the legal, policy and technical barriers that inhibit health information exchange between data holders and healthcare consumers, NATE leads and participates in a number of ongoing and emerging projects focused on exchange via multiple modes of transport, including Direct secure messaging and APIs. NATE's Blue Button for Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle providers a technical solution to establishing scalable trust among organizations using Direct secure messaging to exchange protected health infromation between HIPAA covered entities and the consumers that they serve. The NBB4C includes the trust anchors of multiple consumer-facing applications (CFAs) that have elected to adopt a common set of policies and practices that enable consumer mediated health information exchange while upholding personal privacy preferences. Stakeholders interested in participating in NATE's work to support consumer mediated exchange should consider NATE membership or subscribe to News from NATE on the NATE website at

Meryt McGindley
National Association for Trusted Exchange
(310) 345-1960
[email protected]