I rarely make New Year’s resolutions, but 2014 finds me ready and willing to finally take the Blue Button pledge. Perhaps my impetus stems from the healthcare I received in 2013 (more than I would have liked), and the fact that I have logged onto to at least two different patient portals (not including my kids’) that of course can’t communicate with one another.
I’m even more anxious to give Blue Button a go after reading that the ONC has recently announced it is working towards incorporating the following Blue Button features:
- the Blue Button Connector: a tool that will help patients find out which providers, health plans, and others offer Blue Button
- OpenNotes, giving patients access to their providers’ notes
- images such as EKGs
- lab, medication and patient-generated data
- vaccination records
- Explanation of Benefits forms from payers and
- a tool that will match eligible patients to clinical trials.
As a patient, I decided to take the non-data holders’ Blue Button Pledge, whereby I “pledge to engage and empower individuals to be partners in their health through information technology.” I’ll do this by actively trying to bring all of my health data into one digital repository, and blogging about it along the way. Hopefully, I can paint a picture of how having this information at my fingertips benefits my care in some way. I already foresee it helping me to become more engaged.
I’ll also make it a point to bring up the Blue Button initiative with all of my providers. I’ll be interested to see who has heard of it, who thinks it’s a good idea, and who is so overworked they don’t have much time for it. Look to future posts for the nitty gritty of what it takes to actually gather disparate health data and put it in one place.
Have you taken the Blue Button pledge? How has it impacted your care, or that of your patients? Let me know in the comments below.