Automate Blue Button Initiative

Establishing a platform for creating applications and services around CMS Blue Button enabled personal health data.

Executive Summary

Blue Button AutomationThe Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework for the Blue Button Initiative to develop standards that allow patients to privately and securely download their health information in a common, machine-readable format, as well as automate the exchange of that data from their health care providers to other third party apps and services.

The S&I Framework is a collaborative community of participants from the public and private sectors who are focused on providing the tools, services and guidance to facilitate the functional exchange of health information. The S&I Framework uses a set of integrated functions, processes, and tools that enable execution of specific value-creating initiatives. Each S&I Initiative tackles a critical interoperability challenge through a rigorous process that typically includes: – Development of clinically-oriented user stories and robust use cases – Harmonization of interoperability specifications and implementation guidance – Provision of real-world experience and implementer support through new initiatives, workgroups and pilot projects – Mechanisms for feedback and testing of implementations, often in conjunction with ONC partners such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Innovator-in-Residence helped establish a platform for creating applications and services around CMS Blue Button enabled personal health data. This relationship helped establish many new business partners for West Health and the launch of the Center for Medical Interoperability, a separate organization led by hospitals and health systems to help drive interoperability of medical technologies.

A project supported by the: HHS Innovator-in-Residence Program

Team Members

Pierce Graham-Jones


May 2011: Innovator-in-Residence Project begins
June 2013: Innovator-in-Residence Project is completed

Project Sponsor

West Health Institute

Additional Information

  • SI Framework