The Patient Engagement Blue Button Challenge

Leveraging Software Innovation to Drive Health Care Transformation

Topics: Electronic Medical Records Strategy, Information Technology

Kinergy Health Takes the Prize

Congratulations to Kinergy Health, winner of the Patient Engagement Blue Button® Challenge. The Advisory Board announced the contest results on Oct. 8 at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, awarding Kinergy Health a $25,000 grand prize for its MyKinergy cloud-hosted tool.

The Challenge: Help Patients Make the Most of Blue Button

The Advisory Board Company sponsored the Blue Button Challenge to spur innovation in encouraging patients to broadly enroll in and use Blue Button, a Web-based feature through which patients may easily and securely download their health information from doctors, insurers, pharmacies, or other health-related services and share it with health care providers and caregivers.

The Blue Button appears on the patient portals of more than one-third of U.S. hospitals; by the end of this year, Blue Button technology will have enabled 60 million Americans to access and copy their records.

"If hospitals and health systems improve their coordination of care with other providers by leveraging Blue Button data, then they may raise care quality and efficiency, lower readmissions, and improve patient engagement in areas such as compliance with prescription regimens," said David Chao, chief technology officer for Crimson at The Advisory Board Company. "Kinergy Health won our Challenge because it identified a highly effective driver of real-world patient use of personal health records: enabling the physician to convincingly articulate the value of Blue Button data to the patient."

"Kinergy outperformed our other high-quality finalists in its ability to engage patients and the medical staff, resulting in a level of trust that led providers to actively encourage patients to enroll," said Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. chief technology officer and current senior advisor for health care technology strategy at The Advisory Board Company.


A Closer Look at MyKinergy

Focusing on elderly and chronically ill individuals, Kinergy Health brings family members, physicians, and professional caregivers together in a private, secure online community where they share and respond to up-to-date information, coordinate plans, and collaborate to ensure that the patient receives timely and appropriate care.

Patients using the SaaS-based MyKinergy service are able to download Blue Button information and share it with their providers and caregivers along with medical history, care plans, medication lists, and other information in their secure MyKinergy account.

To help physicians convincingly articulate the value of Blue Button data to the patient, Kinergy Health has created detailed usage handouts and patient binders that make the necessary information readily available. In addition, MyKinergy provides multiple ways to locate the Blue Button download—from the handout, from the patient home screen, and from a "Find My Data" button on the main landing page—in hopes that physicians can easily encourage patients to make use of the system.

MyKinergy

Putting it to the Test

The finalists and winner were selected by a panel of five judges: David Chao; Aneesh Chopra; Dr. John Halamka, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Jeffrey DiLisi, vice president and chief medical officer at Virginia Hospital Center; and Halle Tecco, chief executive officer of startup accelerator, Rock Health.

Judges evaluated entrants on three criteria: basic functionality and security; the ease of accessing, updating, and sharing patient information for both patients and providers; and the ease of integrating this information into the clinical setting.

Five finalists each received a $5,000 cash prize:

  • iBlueButton®, submitted by Humetrix®, San Diego
  • DonateData, submitted by TrialX, New York
  • FollowMyHealth™, submitted by Jardogs, LLC, Springfield, Ill.
  • MyKinergy, submitted by Kinergy Health, Vienna, Va.
  • mHealthCoach™ Flornce™, submitted by mHealthCoach, Chicago

In addition, The Advisory Board Company paired each of the five finalists with an Advisory Board member institution for a trial designed to demonstrate how a provider can use the application to encourage patients to download Blue Button data and upload it/grant permission for its use as part of a health care delivery transformation program.

Kinergy partnered with Lynchburg Internal Medicine (LIM), a member of the Centra Medical Group. "The Lynchburg Internal Medicine physicians were excited about the usefulness of this data, especially for their population of veterans," said Terri M. Ripley, director of systems and programming and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act coordinator for Centra, a regional nonprofit health care system.

"Physicians and staff agreed that if the patients' data were incorporated into the medical record it would be extremely useful in capturing a more complete problem, medication, and medication allergy list. One of the patients who successfully registered and uploaded his Blue Button data to MyKinergy was heading off to receive treatment at another facility in another state. This patient now has the ability to take his Centra electronic medical records with him, remain connected to his LIM doctor, and simplify the sharing of his information."

Blue Button in the News

Check out Modern Healthcare's recent coverage of the Blue Button Challenge.