Blue Button

The Blue Button approach is a simple concept: A patient is provided with a highly visible, clickable button to download his or her medical records in digital form from a secure website offered by their doctors, insurers, pharmacies or other health-related service. People can log into this secure website to view and have the option to download their health information, so they can examine it, check it, and share it with their doctors and others as they see fit. The Blue Button download capability is a tool that can help individuals get access to their information so they can more effectively participate in and manage their health and health care.

Out of a collaboration convened by the Markle Foundation, several agencies of the federal government have taken leadership roles in modeling this practice. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and TRICARE already offer hundreds of thousands of individuals a Blue Button to download their medical records or claims information from their secure websites. Now several other organizations – both public and private sector – are pledging to offer similar download capabilities for their patients and members.