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The blue button emerged from a simple, yet powerful concept: with better access to their own health information, individuals can become more empowered participants and managers of their health care. Conceived by Markle’s Connecting for Health collaborative at a January 2010 meeting, and first offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the blue button application today enables over one million veterans and non-veterans to view and download their own personal health information. The blue button has now been adopted by the Department of Defense, Social Security Administration, and a range of private health insurers such as Aetna and UnitedHealth Group.
To accelerate awareness of the blue button capability, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently issued an open challenge for video submissions that showcase the benefits of having easy access to your own health care information. To explore how collaborative, patient-centered health care is growing visit the ONC’s Blue Button Pledge Community.
In the meantime, to learn more about the impact of being your own health advocate using the blue button, watch Markle’s video on how the blue button is a helpful means to access information that can change the way patients and providers improve health together.