The Blue Button initiative is a national program that allows patients to access and download personal health information into a simple text file or PDF that can be separated by data class or date range.
Through BBI, patients are able to electronically access information such as current medications, medical treatment information, lab test results, and health insurance claims information from health care providers, labs, retail pharmacies and health insurance companies. This readily accessible information allows patients to reference their health records, check the accuracy of the records and share their medical history with all of their health care providers.
BBI was developed by the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Defense, and the Markle Foundation’s Consumer Engagement Workgroup. BBI first became operational for the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs in August, 2010 and was nationally available in October, 2010.