Blue Button for All Americans

Reprinted from PN January 2012

Making personal health records system available to patients of more than 25,000 physicians across the country wins VA award.

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RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business, has been named the winner of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Blue Button for All Americans contest.

RelayHealth won the $50,000 contest prize by making a Blue Button personal health record (PHR) system available to all patients, including veterans, of more than 25,000 physicians across America. VA’s Innovations Initiative (VAi2) sponsored the contest.

“We held this contest to help veterans across America to be able to download their health data regardless of where they get their care,” says VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “We wanted to give veterans and their families easy access to their health data with the Blue Button so they can have greater control over the healthcare they receive. RelayHealth’s contribution to this goal is more than commendable.”

RelayHealth has announced it will donate the prize to the Wounded Warrior Project (WPP), which supports programs that assist injured servicemembers, veterans and their families.

Blue Button PHRs allow patients to see, download and keep their health data by clicking the “Blue Button” on a secure Internet site. Patients can then choose to share their data with their physicians or family members or make it available if emergency treatment is needed.

Blue Button downloads are delivered in text files that can be downloaded, read, stored and printed on any computer without special software. Patients can also authorize use of a Blue Button transfer of their medical data from a treating physician to another medical provider.

The Blue Button concept was developed by VA in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Markle Foundation.

VA was the first health system to offer Blue Button functions to its patients in August 2010; since then, hundreds of thousands of veterans have downloaded their data from VA’s MyHeal theVet website (

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Blue Button for All Americans


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