National Partnership for Women & Families

Blog

Debra L. Ness, President

From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Your Health Information: Get It, Check It, Use It.

It’s a little blue button that can change your life.

It’s ushering in a new era in health care, with major benefits for women, caregivers, consumers and families.

This transformation is well underway. Our country is leaving behind the days when most health records were stored in paper files and it was difficult, if not impossible, to access or use your own health information.

All that is changing as more doctors and hospitals adopt electronic health records (EHRs) and other health technologies, and a little blue button helps patients get online access to their electronic health information. We’re better off for the change, because patient and consumer empowerment are critical to improving health care.

That’s why the National Partnership for Women & Families is so pleased to be joining the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT (at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) in supporting a transformative new initiative called the "Blue Button Campaign."

You may have seen it. More and more health providers are adding a blue (download) button to their websites. If you haven’t noticed, there’s a good chance you will soon. This dynamic button is giving patients and caregivers a powerful and effective way to safely and securely access their health records online.

That’s important because easy online access to health records puts vital medical information like test results at our fingertips. It helps patients and caregivers take control of, and better manage, health and care.

Health information technology helps us improve our health and care, by:

  • Sharing health information with a doctor, trusted family members or caregivers;
  • Checking to make sure the information is accurate and complete;
  • Having your medical history available in case of emergency, when traveling, seeking a second opinion, or switching health insurance companies; or
  • Plugging your health information into apps and tools that help you set and reach personalized health goals.

    Online access to health information means we can easily see our medication lists with dosages and interaction warnings, our children’s vaccination histories, when we are due for a check-up or medical test, and recent surgical procedures for our family members.

    At the National Partnership, we are convinced that electronic access to health information is a game changer for patient engagement. This terrific video by ONC explains why having easy online access to health records is so important for patients and family caregivers. Watch now »

    Find out if your doctor, health plan, pharmacy, or others are providing electronic access to your health records now by going to www.bluebuttonconnector.com. If your doctor or other health care organizations are not listed, ask them to participate.

    Trust me, that little blue button can change your life!

    For more information about Blue Button, visit www.healthit.gov/bluebutton.


  • Comments

    Submitted by Connie on September 24, 2014
    Bravo!

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