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CMS to Add “Blue Button” Feature to Personal Health Records Portal

Posted Jun 10 2010 11:31am

The new addition is slated to begin sometime in the fall of 2010.  This is great for those patients who are exploring the use of personal health records, but what about the rest of group.  We hear about education all the time and are governed largely by the “non participants” so what do they know (grin) other than to tell you “this is good for you”.  I have looked all over the web and don’t see hardly anyone with a PHR in leadership talking about how they see value. 

There are several pictures though of President Obama using technology so perhaps his staff might wake up and take notice here.  So many of these people are just talking and lacking any element of being personal, just a tiny bit, to show some participation is exhausting. I still get the feeling we are promoting the philosophy of “its for those guys over there”.  In order for some of this to take place we need health literacy.

It’s just really more effective to lay out such plans if you begin to “practice what you preach” and gee there’s a lot more positives that come along for the ride when you do that as well.  Using technology is how people get educated and move forward, look at China who almost has more English speaking citizens than we have in the US, why, because they learned English by using the internet.  If you want to motivate people you need to get out there and roll up your sleeves.  One of my favorite pilots to talk about unfortunately is the PHR from CMS with the 4 vendors to help seniors, going nowhere in a hurry, no role models here.

We have more features coming that a “few” educated individuals will be able to use.  BD

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Veterans Affairs Department plan to add a feature to their electronic patient portals to let beneficiaries download their personal health information into a patient health record or other electronic media of their choosing.

To date, veterans and seniors have been able only to review their data on CMS’s MyMedicare.gov and VA’s MyHealtheVet patient Web portals. The “blue button” initiative, named for a new electronic button on the portal sites, will let patients use their data in any way they choose, said Todd Park, HHS’s chief technology officer.

In another example, iGuard provides a medication monitoring service that incorporates data from the Food and Drug Administration to alert consumers to any potential adverse drug interactions they might face. It also can help researchers contact medication users, said Hugo Stephenson, its CEO. Patients can access the site online directly, through Microsoft’s HealthVault personal health record and from other services.

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