Blue Button Plus may make its way into MU Stage 3

Jonah Comstock | mobihealthnews | January 17, 2013

Humetrix iBlueButton app won the ONC's Blue Button Mashup Challenge.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is working to promote more patient engagement and access with their own records. One avenue of this work is with the Meaningful Use Stage 2 guidelines, but the office is also working with data holders and app developers to encourage the development of a patient health data ecosystem through an update and an expansion of the Blue Button program that’s being called Blue Button Plus, the ONC announced in a recent webinar, hosted by the National eHealth Collaborative.

“There’s a lot of democratization of information. Back and forth and sharing and co-creation of knowledge, and some of that has to be spilling over into health,” Lygeia Ricciardi, acting director of the Office of Consumer eHealth, said. “ONC in this context views itself not as the leader of this movement, but as a catalyst, pulling together the various forces moving in this direction in synergistic ways.”

HIPAA already requires that consumers have access to their own records if they request them, but under Meaningful Use Stage 1, they might only be able to access them through an online viewing portal. Stage 2, which will roll out for the earliest EHR adopters at the start of 2013 , has a stricter requirement that patients be able to view, download, and transmit their data...