HL7 Announces Launch of HIE Tool

Health Level Seven® International (HL7®), the global authority for interoperability and standards in healthcare information technology with members in 55 countries, announced this week the release of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD®) to Blue Button Transform Tool. The tool allows organizations to convert information already available in the existing HL7 CCD format into a Blue Button ASCII text format. The Blue Button, developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense, empowers patients by providing a simple method to download, view, print and transmit their personal health information. Because most certified health information electronic health record (EHR) systems already have CCD-export capabilities, the tool will allow EHR users to create Blue Button consumer-friendly downloads without having to write a separate utility.

Early adopters of the tool that will be offering Blue Button to their members and patients in early 2013 include: Centerstone, the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral healthcare; and Hello Health, which delivers an MU-certified EHR, a personal health record (PHR) and a physician practice management systems.

Blue Button is part of the expanding landscape of national and local initiatives to empower consumers with their own data. In the health area, these initiatives also include the Office of the National Coordinator’s Standards and Interoperability Framework (and the Automate the Blue Button Initiative) and the Beacon Community Programs.

“We are pleased that HL7 was able to assemble a broad set of industry stakeholders, including vendors, providers, payers and federal agencies to develop this Blue Button tool as part of its ongoing commitment to be responsive to the industry’s needs in a timely manner,” said John Quinn, HL7 Chief Technology Officer in a press release.

This is another demonstration of the broad adoption and interest in expanding the use of the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®) standard.

HL7 members may download the HL7 CCD to ASCII Blue Button Transform tool for free. Nonmembers may purchase the tool on the HL7 store at www.hl7.org/store/viewitem.cfm?Item=CDA. For more information visit: www.HL7.org/EHR/.

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