RelayHealth’s PHR wins Blue Button contest

RelayHealth, McKesson's connectivity business, has been awarded a $50,000 prize as the winner of the VA's "Blue Button for All Americans" personal health record contest.

[See also: VA launches Blue Button PHR contest]

RelayHealth, an Atlanta-based provider of information exchange services, said that in order to win the prize, the company had to show that it had upgraded its PHR to use Blue Button technology, and at least 25,000 of its physicians offered the new Blue Button functions to their patients.

"RelayHealth has always offered one-click download of the continuity of care document (CCD) and is proud to support the Blue Button initiative," said Jim Bodenbender, president, RelayHealth Connectivity Solutions. "By allowing patients – including veterans and active-duty service members – to easily access their healthcare information, the initiative will increase patients' ability to actively engage in managing their own healthcare."

[See also: Markle Foundation's recommendations for 'blue button' backed by 46 organizations]

RelayHealth officials said they will donate the prize money to the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports programs that assist injured service members, veterans and their families.

The Blue Button concept was developed by VA in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Markle Foundation. VA was the first health system to offer Blue Button functions to its patients in August 2010; since then, hundreds of thousands of Veterans have downloaded their data from VA's MyHealtheVet website.

"The Blue Button initiative, a flagship open government initiative of the VA with active multi-agency collaboration, has scaled from a promising 'startup' to a national service," said White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. "By tapping into our country's entrepreneurial spirit through challenges and prizes, we celebrate the engagement of the private sector to ensure Blue Button is available to – and will be used – by millions of Americans."

Blue Button personal health records allow patients to see, download and keep their health data by clicking the "Blue Button" on a secure Internet site. Patients can then choose to share their data with their physicians or family members or make it available if emergency treatment is needed. Blue Button downloads are delivered in text files that can be downloaded, read, stored and printed on any computer without special software. Patients can also authorize use of a Blue Button transfer of their medical data from a treating physician to another medical provider.

VA's Innovations Initiative (VAi2) sponsored the contest.