A few months ago, I learned from the Office of the National Health Coordinator’s (ONC) What’s in Your Health Record?? Challenge that I have the legal right to request and access my health record. I can ask for the log from my doctors, health insurance company, or other health care providers and then use that information to better understand my health, identify errors, or communicate between providers.
But important as those steps are, I found the task of actually getting my health record a bit daunting. Not only would I have to call my health care provider on the phone (gasp!), but also I’d have to spend time scanning the documents and compiling all of the disjointed information on my computer. (Who wants to store a big stack of paper files?)
Finding a solution
You can imagine my excitement then, when I learned just recently that nearly all of my health care information can be downloaded online with one click of a button. No more phone calls or sorting paper files for me!
(Photo credit: Newtown Grafitti)
The process is called Blue Buttoning, and it’s changing the way Americans access their health data. (As a noun, “Blue Button” refers to the blue icon that patients click in order to get the information. As a verb, it means to click on that icon and download your health care information online).
Blue Button downloads are secure, reliable, and packaged in a format that is easy to understand. Once a patient downloads her health data, she has the option to print it, store it electronically, share it with people she trusts, or even plug it into mobile apps. Exciting stuff, right?
That’s why today, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) launched the Blue Button Video Challenge, a competition inviting teams and individuals to create entertaining two-minute videos that introduce the Blue Button and encourage others to learn about it. Five winning videos, judged on shareability, creativity, and instructiveness, will be awarded $8,350 in prizes. (The more plays your video gets on YouTube or Vimeo, the better.)
The challenge, which is the fifth in a series of video contests promoting the benefits of health information technology, is open now until November 13. Get started by registering for the challenge, jotting down your ideas, and checking out inspiring stories about health IT.
More information on the Blue Button:
Blue Button Goes Viral: UnitedHealthcare Promotes Importance of Personal Health Records to Millions of Enrollees [Business Wire]
Aetna Makes it Easier for Members to Share Personal Health Information with Care Providers to Improve Quality Care [Aetna]
By MeganOct 2 Comments
Have you ever wondered what happens when your pharmacist can’t read your doctor’s chicken scratch? How about when you forget to take a pill? Or go two weeks without your meds, because you’re in between insurance claims? And having that glass of wine with antibiotics… that’s OK, right?
Wrong. Not taking medications as prescribed can have serious consequences: worsening symptoms, complications, hospitalization, even death.
Luckily, though, there are great health information technology (“health IT”) tools for patients and health care providers that can help prevent these issues. For example, doctors can now send your prescription directly to the pharmacy, so not only is it ready for pick-up when you arrive, but also, potential medication errors from illegible handwriting on a paper script are avoided. Mobile apps can remind you when to refill/take your medicine, and electronic health record systems (EHR) can help prevent drug-drug interactions by documenting all your prescription information in one place.
But how many people (besides those who work in health care) actually know about and use these tools? Not enough.
That’s why the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) just launched the Managing Meds Video Challenge, the fourth in a series of video contests promoting the benefits of health IT. This time, ONC wants consumers and health care providers, such as doctors, nurses, or pharmacists, to create short, inspiring videos that will motivate others to use technology to manage meds effectively, elevate safety, and improve overall health. Videos should be no more than two minutes in length, and winners will be awarded $7,500 in prizes.
You can learn more about the competition at ManagingMeds.Challenge.gov. Get your camera rolling, and help spread the word!
The Managing Meds Video Challenge runs between August 9 and October 1, 2012. For more details, please see the Official Rules.
By SamanthaAug 13 Comments