Success Of Blue Button Initiative Tied To MU Program

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | July 1, 2014

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT this fall will launch a national campaign to boost consumer use of Blue Button technology to securely access their health records electronically.  Originally launched in 2010 by the Veterans Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Defense, Blue Button has expanded to include both public and private health record “data-holders”--including provider organizations, health plans, and pharmacies--yet is still not well known by most Americans. 

The national Blue Button campaign, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 6, will include public service announcements posted on partner websites to get the word out on how consumers can access their own health data. According to Lygeia Ricciardi, director of ONC’s Office of Consumer eHealth, a lack of public demand for digital health records is among the greatest obstacles to increased consumer engagement in their own health.

“As with the whole Blue Button initiative, this is deliberately a multi-stakeholder effort,” Ricciardi told Health Data Management. “We at ONC developed the public service announcements and we can run them. But, what we really want is to have a multi-stakeholder community so that our efforts can be leveraged by others. Many consumers may actually prefer to hear about online access to health information from their doctor, their pharmacy, or from a consumer group that they trust like the American Cancer Society.”...