As many of our members know too well, the VA health care system can be difficult to navigate. Before 2010, attempts to access or share medical records with physicians and caregivers made receiving necessary health care an even more daunting task.
VA addressed this issue by unveiling Blue Button, an online symbol that alerts veterans to the ability to click and securely download their medical records electronically. A variety of important information, such as immunization records, military health history, allergies and medication is available, giving veterans more control over their health care. This helps prevent dispensing the wrong medication and duplicating tests and procedures. As a result, the veteran is on the same page as everyone else: physicians, caregivers and family. It also makes changing physicians or seeing a specialist simple, and travel becomes less stressful.
The Blue Button has proven so successful that it has grown from solely a VA program to a service that other government agencies and private organizations—more than 500—have adopted. Technical updates and improvements are constantly being made to Blue Button.
George Mahler, Senior Program Manager for Creative Computing Solutions Inc., a company which helped the VA develop the Blue Button, said its success is derived from the focus on customer service. “We keep the end user at the forefront of all we do, ensuring every development benefits veterans.”
The Blue Button is recognized for its innovation in health care and has received numerous awards. It was also a finalist for the prestigious Public Service for the Citizen Services Medal.
“We support any program that helps veterans receive the health care they have earned,” said Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine. “The Blue Button has a proven track record of empowering veterans through easy, secured access to vital medical information.”
To join the more than half-million veterans taking control of their health care, visit www.myhealth.va.gov to download your medical information—just look for the Blue Button.