The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT launched its Blue Button video competition Oct. 1 to create awareness of consumers having easy online access to their health information, and to motivate them in how they might use it.
Many consumers, especially healthy individuals, have not thought about the importance of having 24/7 access to their health information, according to ONC’s announcement in the Federal Register.
ONC invites the public to describe in an entertaining video that runs no longer than two minutes how they have used the Blue Button feature if they have access to it, or how they would use the information and what it would mean to them if they had the capability.
The only content requirement is to mention Blue Button, show an image of the official Blue Button graphic, and direct consumers to the ONC source of www.healthit.gov/bluebutton to find out more about it.
The number of views on YouTube of the video will be one of the deciding factors when judging submissions, according to Lygeia Ricciardi, acting director of ONC’s Office of Consumer eHealth.
First prize is $3,000, with other prizes of $2,000 and $1,250. Contestants may register at http://bluebuttonvideo.challenge.gov/. Submissions are due by Nov. 13.
ONC has been promoting the Blue Button feature as a means to view, download and transmit consumers’ information and even send it to a third party if the patient chooses to do so. ONC has encouraged vendors to incorporate Blue Button in their electronic health records (EHRs).
With anytime access to their health data, patients can make sure that their providers are on the same page and can better manage their health information by plugging it into applications and tools.
“It can suddenly become incredibly relevant, and potentially life-saving, in case of an emergency and may come in handy if you are traveling, seeing multiple doctors or seeking a second opinion, and you want everyone to know your medical history,” Ricciardi said.
Blue Button was developed first for veterans to access their information through their HealtheVet personal record in a simple ASCII text file. More than 1 million veterans have downloaded their information, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. Military service members and Medicare beneficiaries also have a Blue Button capability, and it is beginning to be deployed in the private sector.
Hundreds of organizations have committed to making it easier for patients to gain access to their personal health information. ONC anticipates more providers, health plans, pharmacies and labs to get involved, she said.