Last week, Department of Veterans Affairs officials announced that one million patients now are registered for and using the agency's "Blue Button" tool to access their personal health record data, Healthcare IT News reports (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 9/4).
Background on Blue Button
In 2010, VA launched a Blue Button tool to help veterans access and exchange their personal health data in a standard, consistent manner.
The project has caught on in the private sector, with insurers, such as Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, launching their own Blue Button tools (iHealthBeat, 8/13).
The tool allows veterans to access their:
- Emergency contacts;
- Medical history;
- Past medical appointments;
- Prescription history; and
- Wellness reminders (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 8/31).
VA CTO Comments on Announcement
Peter Levin -- VA's chief technology officer -- said the agency believes patients want access to their health information.
"Getting to one million registered users so quickly is a great validation for our team," he said.
Levin added, "The simplicity of Blue Button makes it easy for other public agencies and Federal Employee Health Program carriers to participate" (Healthcare IT News, 9/4).