Last week, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced that several of the largest pharmacy chains in the U.S. have pledged support for the Blue Button initiative, which aims to expand patients' access to their own electronic health information, Healthcare Informatics reports (Perna, Healthcare Informatics, 2/7).
In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched a Blue Button tool to help veterans access and exchange their personal health data in a standard, consistent manner. Since then, other private and federal agencies have implemented the tool (iHealthBeat, 9/17/13).
Support From Pharmacies
The pharmacy chains that have pledged support for Blue Button are:
- CVS Caremark;
- Rite Aid;
- Safeway; and
According to Healthcare Informatics, supporting Blue Button is part of the chains' goal of standardizing patient data.
In addition, three national pharmacy associations have pledged their support for the initiative and will promote the use and adoption of Blue Button, including the:
- National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations;
- National Association of Chain Drug Stores; and
- Pharmacy Health IT Collaborative (Healthcare Informatics, 2/7).
In a "Health IT Buzz" blog post, ONC noted that as a result of the pharmacies adopting Blue Button technology, "Americans will be able to use their pharmacy records with new innovative software applications and services that can improve medication adherence, reduce dosing errors, prevent adverse drug interactions and save lives" (Sinai/Dole, "Health IT Buzz," 2/7).