To be actively involved in your own medical care, you need to understand the basics about electronic medical records, health information exchanges, and more. Check out our primer.
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Originally developed by the Veterans Health Administration, Blue Button technology allows veterans and many consumers to download their medical records from EHRs as text files. As of late last year, half a million veterans and Medicare patients, including non-veterans, had used the Blue Button interface to download their records. Among the private firms that have committed to using the Blue Button or are using it already are Kaiser Permanente, McKesson, Microsoft HealthVault, Aetna, and UnitedHealth Group. Contact your provider or your health plan to find out whether you can obtain your records using the Blue Button.