VA Blue Button Program Reaching 1M Patients; Shinseki, Levin, Park Comment

Eric Shinseki

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reached the one million-patient mark for its Blue Button initiative, the department announced Friday.

Patients use the web-based Blue Button to access and download their personal health recordinformation into one file for use in private healthcare electronic records systems.

Peter Levin

Blue Button files also are compatible with systems used by the VA, Defense Department, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other private sector partners.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a release the department has worked with its partner patients to get Blue Button up and running since President Barack Obama announced the initiative two years ago.

Todd Park

“VA believes that patients are hungry for their health information,” said VA Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin.

“Data is the rocket fuel of job creation in the high tech sector,” said Todd Park, federal CTO, who added Blue Button also has helped unlock data throughout the federal government.

Blue Button files include prescription history, history of past appointments, medical history details, wellness reminders and emergency contact information.

UnitedHealth Group recently signed up as a Blue Button partner with Kaiser Permanente and Aetna already having adopted the tool for its customer health records.

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