Five pharmacy and grocery chains have committed to expanding and accelerating their data exchange capabilities to enable health consumers to download their prescription histories using Blue Button+ technology.

The goal, according to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is to increase use of standardized methods to structure data for patients in machine-readable formats, enabling consumers to access their data using a variety of computing platforms. Stage 2 electronic health records meaningful use criteria also require eligible professional and hospital use of Blue Button + standards.

The chains committing to move forward or expand current use of Blue Button include Walgreens, Kroger, CVS Caremark, Rite Aid and Safeway. Three pharmacy associations also pledge to push their members to accept the technology: National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Pharmacy Health IT Collaborative and National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

More information on Blue Button+ is available at healthit.gov/bluebutton.

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