Overview of Blue Button Movement:
Healthcare is striving hard to incorporate improvisations pertaining to adopting digitalization in order to make medical facilities more readily available to people all over the world. The Blue Button Pledge movement is an initiative where in various healthcare organizations ranging from medical insurance companies, medical service providers, companies dealing with medical technology to organizations advocating patient rights (Austin et al.,2014). The concept of Blue Button Pledge was introduced in the year 2010 within the Veteran administration and was launched for the first time in the month of August in 2010 (Hogan et al.,2014). The initiative was undertaken in order to develop an online portal and provide a convenient online access to patients all over the United States so that the patients can easily download their entire healthcare data as one electronic file present over the internet. What initially started as an initiative restricted to the Veteran administration has now spread to other parts of the United States with 450 healthcare organizations being an active participant of the ‘Blue Button Pledge’, with the striking success rate of the movement, the National Coordinator For Health Information Technology was entrusted with the responsibility of popularising the pledge and developing participation of an increased number of governmental and private healthcare organizations.
Expected Patient Benefits:
The electronic data file that is available for the patient to download contains personal health details of the patient ranging from pedigree history, immunizations, military health history, allergies and reactions, blood sugar level, blood pressure level, body weight, medical insurance policies and emergency contact information (Walker et al.,2015). In addition to the personal details entered by the patients, the miscellaneous information also include patient information pertaining to VA care in terms of Patient problem list, appointment list, up to date medical reports including radiology reports, surgery reports and fitness reminders.
Privacy and Security measures:
In addition, the portal is designed in a way that ensures strict privacy of all the patient information included in the database (Ricciardi et al.,2013). The Blue Button initiative has been solely undertaken in order to provide ease of access to patients and it provides two access options, the first includes details of all patient health information and the second includes options that would provide patients with the choice of either sharing their information with other people or with medical professionals whose help they wish to seek.
Procedure to access patient database:
Recently the ‘XYZ group of private healthcare physicians from Minnesota’ registered under the Blue Button Pledge Program and started working with the updated online database of the patients seeking healthcare. The database included every minute detail about the patients ranging from the health concerns to the latest treatment undertaken and it helped the physicians to develop a crystal clear overview about the physical state of the patients and thus the treatment procedure became extremely convenient. Also, it must be noted here that the medical data of the patients are strictly confidential and a registered user can keep a track of the downloaded files under the Account History Settings and in case of any discrepancy can report unauthorised use of the account. Therefore, it can be concluded that patients can now access all heath care facilities making use of the ‘Blue Button Pledge’ which was initially restricted for the use of Veterans but now can be used by any individual seeking health care in the United States Of America. Registering as a user is hassle free and only requires a one-time registration process and saves the time and messed up paper filing of patient history to seek expert advice. The success rate of the Blue Button Pledge is slowly traversing to different parts of the world to incorporate a similar concept for the ease of medical treatment.
Austin, R., Hull, S., &Westra, B. (2014). Blue button movement: engaging ourselves and patients. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 32(1), 7-9.
Hogan, T. P., Nazi, K. M., Luger, T. M., Amante, D. J., Smith, B. M., Barker, A., ...& Houston, T. K. (2014). Technology-assisted patient access to clinical information: an evaluation framework for blue button. JMIR research protocols, 3(1).
Ricciardi, L., Mostashari, F., Murphy, J., Daniel, J. G., &Siminerio, E. P. (2013). A national action plan to support consumer engagement via e-health. Health Affairs, 32(2), 376-384.
Walker, J., Meltsner, M., &Delbanco, T. (2015). US experience with doctors and patients sharing clinical notes. Bmj, 350, g7785.