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Blue Button
The “blue button” is an electronic tool available for use by Veterans to make their medical records available online. Its aim is to help veterans to be able to more easily access their records, download them, and share with those that help manage their health in VA health facilities. It is covered and developed by Medicare, and is managed under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Blue Button is a relatively new tool, and constant improvements are being made by developers. Many organizations have begun accepting medical histories through a direct application of the Blue Button. Ultimately, Blue Buttons intends to make medical history and management as transparent as possible for American Veterans.


Blue Button aims to offer a comprehensive health history and medical care application. It offers many features, including:
  • Direct downloading of information into text files or PDFs
  • Self-entered information, such as:
    • o Test results
    • o Family history
    • o Military health history,
    • o Emergency contact information
    • Can be linked to ordering prescriptions
    • Can be linked to lab results
    • Can be authorized to include military information
      • o Including pay details and service times (such as deployment and retirement records)

There are many benefits to Medicare veterans to use blue button, including:
  • Personal control over health records
  • Downloading leads to easy sharing among doctors, caregivers, etc
  • Bluebutton-use opens access to a variety of related medical apps
    • o These include medical viewing on smartphones and or personal health records
    • No special software downloads necessary

Despite Blue Button’s attempt to make an easy, accessible way to access medical records, the simplicity can come at a price- mainly, security:
  • Users should take care to keep information private
  • Information is not encrypted, therefore direct e-mailing of downloads is unsafe


Works Cited:

Blue Button." Getting Started -. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.

"Download Claims with Medicare's Blue Button." Medicare's Blue Button. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.

"HealthIT.gov." Your Health Data. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.

Image Source:
“Blue Button”: http://bluebuttonconnector.healthit.gov/img/bb-logo-depth.jpg

Veterans Affairs Seal: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/US-DeptOfVeteransAffairs-Seal-Large.png