Health Level Seven International (HL7), the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based global authority for interoperability and standards in healthcare information technology, has announced the release of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) to Blue Button Transform Tool.
The tool allows organizations to convert information already available in the existing HL7 CCD format into a Blue Button ASCII text format. The Blue Button, developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense, empowers patients by providing a simple method to download, view, print and transmit their personal health information. Because most certified health information electronic health record (EHR) systems already have CCD-export capabilities, the tool will allow EHR users to create Blue Button consumer-friendly downloads without having to write a separate utility.
Early adopters of the tool that will be offering Blue Button to their members and patients in early 2013 include: Centerstone, the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral healthcare; and Hello Health, which delivers an MU-certified electronic health record (EHR), a personal health record (PHR) and a physician practice management systems.
John Quinn, HL7 chief technology officer, said in a statement, “We are pleased that HL7 was able to assemble a broad set of industry stakeholders, including vendors, providers, payers, and federal agencies to develop this Blue Button tool as part of its ongoing commitment to be responsive to the industry’s needs in a timely manner.”