Feds Look to Automate Blue Button

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee | GovInfoSecurity.com | August 14, 2012

The federal government is launching an initiative to make the increasingly popular Blue Button patient portal feature more automated. The goal is to provide patients with more ease and choices for securely downloading and transmitting their personal health information.

The new "Automate Blue Button" initiative, spearheaded by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs officially, will kick off on Aug. 15. It will debut with a webinar aimed at attracting technical experts with innovative ideas to help develop standards and pilot the emerging technology, says Doug Fridsma, ONC director of standards and interoperability and chief scientist.

The Blue Button concept, developed a few years ago by the Markle Foundation in collaboration with other groups, allows individuals to click on a button of a patient portal to securely download and store their health information, or to authorize transfer of medical data from one physician to another.