The Blue Button initiative was first introduced by the VA, and subsequently began being promoted by many healthcare vendors. VA’s Blue Button allows a patient to access and download their information from a personal health record (PHR) into a very simple text file or PDF that can be read, printed, or saved on any computer. This enables patients to share this data with their health care providers, caregivers, or other people they trust.

The downloaded format is not in an industry standard format, such as CCD or CCR, which makes it less interoperable from an EHR-to-EHR sharing standpoint. The downloaded file is more targeted for human viewing and sharing.

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