THE BLOG
04/16/2011 12:07 pm ET Updated Jun 16, 2011

Troops can get more medical info online via expanded Blue Button

Okay, the deal is that troops need to be able to get to their medical info online, a big deal, and they're getting it, step by step.

Just got good news regarding enhancements to the Blue Button program, and when they cite "a major step forward," that's for-real.

New Features Allow Users Access to Expanded Personal Health Data at TRICARE Online (excerpted)

A new feature on TRICARE Online at www.tricareonline.com now allows users access to expanded personal health data, including lab results, patient history and diagnoses, and provider visits.

The Blue Button was fielded by TRICARE and was made generally available by other federal health care providers last year. It is the result of a close interagency partnership between the Department of Defense (DoD), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Blue Button already has over 250,000 users.

"Innovations like the Blue Button are great examples of how healthcare information technology can keep institutions like TRICARE, CMS and VA on the vanguard of patient care by enabling safe, secure access to their electronic records," said Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff John Gingrich. "TRICARE has raised the bar on what can be accomplished when our agencies work closely together."