Video: Federal efforts to engage patients in digital health

Posted | Posted in Events

On Thursday, April 30, we hosted Ms. Lana Moriarty, the Director of Consumer eHealth at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT at HHS.

Ms. Moriarty introduced the Office, which coordinates nationwide efforts to implement and use advanced health IT – to support adoption of and improvements in Meaningful Use policies, Health Exchange Information, and now a new(er) focus on patient engagement.

Here are some highlights from her talk:

  • Blue Button: A new campaign to create demand for consumer access to health information and a branding initiative that indicates to consumers that their electronic health information is available. 
    • Started with the VA in 2010
    • Currently over 500 public and private sector organizations support Blue Button, and that community is rapidly growing 
  • Did you know…
    • In any given year, the average Medicare patient visits 2 primary care physicians and 5 specialists working across 4 different practices. Blue Button can combine portals from these disparate areas into one, making access much easier for patients.
    • Currently only 3 in 10 patients are given access to their online medical record
    • However, 7 in 10 individuals value online access to their health data; these numbers do not vary by age (even those 65 and over want access to online medical records).
    • Among those offered access, almost half (46%) viewed their medical record at least once.
  • Ms. Moriarty and her team have developed a Consumer Action Plan, which focuses on “increasing electronic access to health information, supporting the development of tools that enable people to take action with that information, and shifting attitudes related to the traditional roles of patients and providers.” (ref:
  • The Consumer Action Plan’s overall goal is to empower each individual to actively manage his or her health and partner in healthcare through secure access to information and interoperable technology.  
    • Included within this goal are initiatives around supporting the expansion of telemedicine/telehealth, encouraging patient contributions to their own health record (via symptoms reporting, vital signs, and potentially information available from HealthKit and other apps)
  • Patients forget between 40-80% of the information given to them during a health visit immediately after the visit is over.
    • Of the information remembered, half is incorrect. 
  • 1 in 3 patients experience gaps in information exchange 
    • In 2013, just 39% of providers were able to share information with other providers
    • Only 14% did so with providers outside their organizations
  • This puts a lot of burden on the patient to learn, remember, and carry their own health data and information. This burden can be alleviated by better interoperability between providers and systems. 

Ms. Moriarty also presented funding announcements from ONC.

If you’re a provider, you can check out Blue Button and get listed here: