HL7 Announces a CCD® to Blue Button Transform Tool and Early Adopters

Press Release | Health Level Seven International (HL7) | January 8, 2013

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA – January 8, 2013 – Health Level Seven® International (HL7®), the global authority for interoperability and standards in healthcare information technology with members in 55 countries, today announced the release of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD®) to Blue Button Transform Tool. The tool allows organizations to convert information already available in the existing HL7 CCD format into a Blue Button ASCII text format. The Blue Button, developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense, empowers patients by providing a simple method to download, view, print and transmit their personal health information. Because most certified health information EHR systems already have CCD-export capabilities, the tool will allow EHR users to create Blue Button consumer-friendly downloads without having to write a separate utility.

Early adopters of the tool that will be offering Blue Button to their members and patients in early 2013 include: Centerstone, the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral healthcare; and Hello Health, which delivers an MU-certified electronic health record (EHR), a personal health record (PHR) and a physician practice management systems.

Blue Button is part of the expanding landscape of national and local initiatives to empower consumers with their own data. See http://www.bluebuttondata.org. In the health area, these initiatives also include the Office of the National Coordinator’s Standards and Interoperability Framework (and the Automate the Blue Button Initiative) and the Beacon Community Programs.

John Quinn, HL7 Chief Technology Officer, stated, “We are pleased that HL7 was able to assemble a broad set of industry stakeholders, including vendors, providers, payers, and federal agencies to develop this Blue Button tool as part of its ongoing commitment to be responsive to the industry’s needs in a timely manner.” This is another demonstration of the broad adoption and interest in expanding the use of the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®) standard.

“We are honored to be an early adopter in this important initiative,” said Linda Grove-Paul, Director of Substance Abuse and Forensic Services at Centerstone of Indiana. “As a community behavioral health organization, we work closely with physical health providers in our communities. The ability to support both the CCD for electronic exchange of information and the Blue Button for text and print presentation is an important step in our effort to offer truly consumer-focused integrated care in our communities. The CCD to Blue Button Transform tool allows us to offer these important features which would have been too costly and complex to acquire without the tool.”

“Although some physicians turn to EHRs because of the mandate, they sometimes overlook the ability to incorporate patients into the process. Adding the Blue Button download will be an important part of our commitment to enhance the physician-patient relationship. Access to a patient record summary will help us showcase how we can use technology to promote the universally desired effects of reduced costs and an improved quality of life,” said Nathanial Findlay, founder and chief executive officer of Myca Health Inc., parent company of Hello Health. “Adding the Blue Button to our Hello Health Platform helps patients take a more active role in their healthcare through everything from the ease of ability to request and share patient record data to virtual visits that help them be better informed about their health.”

HL7 members may download the HL7 CCD to ASCII Blue Button Transform tool for free. Nonmembers may purchase the tool on the HL7 store at www.hl7.org/store/viewitem.cfm?Item=CDA. For more information visit: www.HL7.org/EHR/.

About Health Level Seven International (HL7)

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International is the global authority for healthcare information interoperability and standards with affiliates established in more than 30 countries. HL7 is a non-profit, ANSI accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7’s more than 2,300 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7 collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts.

HL7’s endeavors are sponsored, in part, by the support of its benefactors: Abbott; Accenture; Allscripts; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Duke Translational Medicine Institute; Epic; the Food and Drug Administration; GE Healthcare Information Technologies; GlaxoSmithKline; Hospital Corporation American (HCA); IBM; Intel Corporation; InterSystems Corporation; Kaiser Permanente; McKesson Provider Technology; Microsoft Corporation; NICTIZ National Healthcare; Novartis; Oracle Corporation; Partners HealthCare System, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; Philips Healthcare; Quest Diagnostics Inc.; Siemens Healthcare; the U.S. Department of Defense, Military Health System; and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Numerous HL7 Affiliates have been established around the globe including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

For more information, please visit: www.HL7.org

Contact: Andrea Ribick
+1 (734) 677-7777
[email protected]

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