ONC Looks To Make Blue Button Public, Boost Patient Engagement

Ed Burns | TechTarget | September 12, 2012

Blue Button may have started as a patient engagement tool that allows veterans to access their health information electronically, but government IT officials are looking to bring this type of functionality to civilian patients, too.

Transforming the concept of "blue button" into an action any patient can do to access their information was a major theme of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's (ONC) Consumer Health Summit, held Sept. 10.

Farzad Mostashari, national coordinator for health IT, said aspects of the stage 2 meaningful use rules and other initiatives from his office will play a role in making it easier for patients to be engaged in their own care. Right now, the ONC is encouraging technology developers to include Blue Button-type functionality in their products and for data holders, such as physicians, hospitals and payers. The agency hopes to make data more available to patients.