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The Blue Button feature for patients to download and use their health information is a capability that is becoming available outside of federal health systems, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT wants developers to help improve the design to make the medical record more usable and meaningful to patients and their caregivers.
ONC has initiated a challenge to improve the layout and style of the plain text Blue Button file and enrich it with visuals, according to an announcement in the Oct. 22 Federal Register.
The focus is on the content defined in the Continuity of Care Document (CCD), a common template used with electronic health record (EHR) software to describe a patient’s health history.
The contest winners will be in the four areas of overall design and best designs for the medication, problem history and lab summary sections. An individual submission can win multiple awards, with the first prize for overall design awarded $16,000. Contestants need to submit their designs by Nov. 30.
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 has also launched a Cancer Care Video Challenge for the public to create two-minute videos that inspire others how they use health IT to achieve a goal related to cancer care. It could describe a treatment, transitional care planning goal for a cancer patient, survivor or family caregiver. Entries are due Dec. 12 and first prize award is $3,000 with several lesser amount awards.
The Family Caregivers Video Challenge focuses on videos sharing how to use health IT to help manage healthcare for a child, spouse or partner or elderly parent, relative or friend. Submissions are due Dec. 10 and first prize is $3,000.
Topics could explore using a website to help choose a physician, joining an online community to talk with other family caregivers to receive emotional support and tips, or using an app to manage medication lists and make sure the information is available when it’s needed