Monday, March 16, 2015

Blue Button Initiative (s) 2014, 2015

Personal health records have had a lackluster adoption by patients and their families.  

The Veterans' Administration initiated the Blue Button as a method for veterans to download their VA medical history. 

The "My Health Vet" provides  the access page for downloading Vet's health records. 

My HealtheVet is VA’s online personal health record. It was designed for Veterans, active duty Servicemembers, their dependents and caregivers. My HealtheVet helps you partner with your health care team. It provides you opportunities and tools to make informed decisions and manage your health care

Sample Data available from the Blue Button 

Among the newest features available to Veterans with a Premium Account include VA Notes.  These are clinical notes that your health care team records during your appointments or hospital stays.  Also available are your VA Immunization records, more detailed lab reports and a list of your current medical issues. These features are in addition to prescription refills, VA Appointments and Secure Messaging – all very popular with Veterans!

Study: Low Awareness, Usability Limit Veterans' Blue Button Adoption

Paradoxically the awareness and use of the Blue Button has lagged. The use of personal health records by non- VA patients is also poor.

A recent study in March 2015 re-evaluated the Use of the Blue Burron Initiative.  The results were disappointing.

Details of Survey

The survey was conducted between Oct. 31, 2014, and Dec. 8, 2014. It included 274 responses from a variety of stakeholders (Clinical Innovation & Technology, 3/16).
WEDI, a designated adviser to HHS under HIPAA, sent the survey findings to HHS on Friday (WEDI release, 3/15).  


The survey found that 49% of respondents in 2014 said they were unaware of the Blue Button tool, up from 32% in 2013. Researchers attributed the change to the fact that the 2014 survey added providers that are not eligible for incentives under the meaningful use program (WEDI letter, 3/13).
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
Insurer and provider respondents increased their use of Direct -- a federally sponsored messaging protocol -- to transmit data compared with 2013, while technology developer and government respondents decreased their use of Direct for such purposes.
Among all respondents, use of Direct with Secure Blue Button Trust decreased from 15% in 2013 to 8% in 2014 (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 3/16).
Meanwhile, the survey found that health care organizations are increasingly using integrated EHRs and medical device data to populate PHRs accessible through Blue Button. The survey also found that use of integrated EHR data to populate PHRs through Blue Button increased to 100% in 2014 among government respondents, up from 60% in 2013. Meanwhile, use of integrated EHRs remained consistent among providers in the same time period.
In addition, researchers found that both providers and government respondents increased their use of medical device data to populate PHRs that are accessible through Blue Button.
The survey also found that about 80% of respondents either offered or planned to offer all patients access to PHRs.
Meanwhile, health plan respondents cited the importance of privacy controls over PHRs. For example, 89% of insurers provided out-in functionality in 2014, an increase from 69% in 2013.
The survey also found that while direct mail, email and text messages remain top priorities for communication with patients, some respondents also cited the importance of providing mobile services, sharing data with other providers, and sending information to third party services and applications 
You should know you have the right to: • Ask to see and get a copy of your health records from most doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers such as pharmacies and nursing homes, as well as from your health plan; • Get either a paper or, if records are kept electronically, an electronic copy of your records; and • Have your provider or health plan send a copy of your records to someone else. 

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