VA: More Education Needed On Blue Button Initiative

Marla Durben Hirsch | Fierce EMR | April 23, 2014

Only one-third of veterans are taking advantage of "Blue Button" capabilities to access the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' personal health record portal, My HealtheVet, but those who do so are pleased with it, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American Informatics Association.

The Blue Button initiative enables patients to secure online access to their electronic records. The researchers, from the VA Health system in Iowa City and elsewhere, presented an online survey to a 4 percent random sample of My HealtheVet users for two months in 2012 to determine the value of Blue Button use.

The survey revealed that just 33 percent of respondents to be current Blue Button users. The most highly endorsed benefit (73 percent) was that it helped patients understand their health history better because the information was located all in one place.