WASHINGTON — The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology this fall will launch a consumer outreach campaign Sept. 15 through Oct. 6 to raise awareness around the national Blue Button Initiative, a public-private partnership that seeks to give consumers easy and secure access to their health records from a variety of sources in a format they can use.
The Blue Button Campaign aims to raise awareness among consumers and patients about Blue Button and how they can use it to exercise their rights and empower themselves with their own health data. "Over a year ago, members of the Blue Button Initiative told us that a lack of public demand for digital health records is among the greatest impediments to greater consumer engagement in their own health and care," the organization noted. "This lack of demand is often due to consumers not being aware of the legal right to access their own health information and not knowing the benefits of doing so. These benefits include checking the health information for errors, sharing it with other members of their care team or others they trust, and referencing that information whenever necessary."
Supporters of the Blue Button Initiative include provider organizations, health plans, pharmacies, labs, technology developers and patient and consumer advocacy organizations. A number of these organizations have agreed to prominently feature the Blue Button public service announcements on their websites or through their other communication channels. The focus-group tested PSAs target three populations — seniors or those with chronic conditions, caregivers and cancer patients/survivors — to elevate patient and caregiver awareness of Blue Button.
Stakeholders who will be participating in the campaign include:
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (has over 6 million Blue Button downloads);
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ( serves 49 million Medicare beneficiaries);
- Indian Health Service (services 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives belonging to 566 federally recognized tribes in 35 states);
- Sharecare.com (100 million page views per month);
- Walgreens (over 8,500 locations; 400 clinics and 6 million Americans visiting its stores each day);
- National Partnership for Women and Families;
- Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease;
- Caregiver Action Network;
- American Health Information Management Association;
- American Cancer Society; and
- New York e-health Collaborative.