WEDI: Blue Button Industry Assessment, Still Important Issue

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, released the findings from its recent survey on industry awareness and adoption regarding the usage of the “Blue Button” implementation guide for exporting patient healthcare records.

Devin Jopp
Devin Jopp

WEDI conducted its first survey on Blue Button in 2013, and as a follow up on the progress of industry adoption since that time, WEDI re-evaluated the industry in 2014. WEDI conducted the survey from Oct. 31, 2014 to Dec. 8, 2014, which included 274 respondents across multiple stakeholders, including providers, health plans, vendors and clearinghouses.

The full survey results can be viewed online and summarized through WEDI’s March 13 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Some key observations WEDI notes from the 2014 survey in comparison to the 2013 findings include:

“It is clear through our findings that usage and adoption of personal health records continues to grow among industry stakeholders and awareness of Blue Button+ is slowly building,” said WEDI president and CEO Devin Jopp, Ed.D.

Blue Button is a way for patients to get easy, secure online access to their health information. Recognizing the success and potential of Blue Button, in 2012, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took on the responsibility for taking it nationwide, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the White House, and a host of other public and private sector leaders. Blue Button is a component of engaging and empowering individuals and their families as partners in their health through information technology, WEDI states.

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) works for the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations.

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