Experts from ONC’s Blue Button Initiative to Discuss How to Safely, Securely Access Health Records Online
ATLANTA/WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3, 2014 – Gaining control of your health and your personal health information is more than just a convenience – it’s your legal right. But most people don’t know where to start. In an effort to educate the American public about how they can access their health records easily and securely, Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform created by Dr. Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, is hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, June 5 at 12pm ET.
During the three hour chat, leading experts from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), part of the Department of Health and Human Services, will be on-hand to answer questions about the Blue Button Initiative: a public and private sector effort committed to enabling patients and caregivers with easy and electronic access to their health records so they can better manage or improve their health and healthcare. The initiative aims to empower patients and caregivers through technology to have better access to information and the ability to use to it to set and reach their personal health goals. Millions of Americans have accessed their health records via Blue Button on the websites of participating doctors’ offices, hospitals, drug stores, and health insurance companies.
“As a result of Blue Button, many Americans can securely access their health records – from prescriptions to claims information and lab results – as well as download that information and share it with people they trust,” said Lygeia Ricciardi, from ONC. “Additionally, for those that are using fitness trackers and apps to monitor their health and wellness, the data that Blue Button puts at your fingertips can help maximize your outcomes, meet your goals and better understand your health day-to-day.”
In addition to hosting the #BlueButton Twitter chat, Sharecare is an official Blue Button supporter, and has pledged to engage and empower individuals to be partners in their health through information technology.
“We are excited to work with the ONC to drive awareness among consumers about the Blue Button initiative,” said Russ Johannesson, Chief Operating Officer of Sharecare. “To improve the health of America, it is critical that we provide ways for consumers to access their personal health information, as well as arm them with tools to make sense of that information and take positive action.”
To participate in the chat, users can post questions on Twitter with the hashtag #BlueButton starting on Wednesday, June 4; and follow the chat live on the event’s Twitter page.
About the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
The ONC, an office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is at the forefront of the administration’s health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. Empowering individuals with health IT to improve their health and the health care system is a component of ONC’s federal health IT strategy. Since 2012, ONC has led the expansion and evolution of the Blue Button Initiative to enable all Americans with access to the health records. For more information, visit www.healthit.gov/bluebutton and follow @ONC_HealthIT.
Sharecare is a health and wellness engagement platform that helps people to live healthier lives by connecting them to personalized resources including local healthcare providers, high-quality information from experts, interactive programs and clinical decision support tools, including its award-winning iOS-exclusive app, AskMD. The power behind Sharecare is a unique, social Q&A format that provides the collective wisdom of America’s top experts—greatly simplifying the search for health information – and its scientifically-based health risk assessment, the RealAge® Test, taken by more than 33 million people and validated in peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE as a more accurate predictor of mortality than calendar age and the Framingham Risk Score. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice—simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta.