My HealtheVet –
Download Your Own VA Medical Records
(Article from MyeHealthVet online)
Think of all the times you’ve sat in the doctor’s office, trying to remember what year you had surgery or the name of that hard-to-pronounce prescription you’re taking. Or maybe you have difficulty keeping track of your appointments or how stable your blood sugar levels have been lately.
Stay on top of managing your health by using My HealtheVet’s Blue Button feature. It allows you to view, print, or download and store information from your personal health record (PHR). Then everything is all in one place and viewable whenever you need.
By organizing and accessing your medical records, the VA Blue Button helps you better manage your health care needs and communicate with your health care team. With the Blue Button, you can download your PHR and share it with your VA and non-VA providers. This helps them get the big picture of your health and inform them how you’re doing in reaching your treatment goals. You can download your record either as a PDF, text file or customizable Blue Button file. You select the date range and the categories of information you wish to include. Print out information to file away at home, take a copy to your next appointment or send an electronic version of your self-entered information in a Secure Message to your VA health care team.
Start building your PHR by self-entering your personal information, such as your health history, emergency contacts and medications. You can monitor your vital signs and use the journals to track your diet and physical activity. Even if you’re not a Veteran, you can take advantage of this convenient way to organize your information.
Then when you click the VA Blue Button, you can view all the data! If you’re a Veteran who receives care from VA, you can set your preferences so that some VA and/or DoD records feed into your VA Blue Button copy of your PHR, such as your military service information. Your downloadable PHR can show you:
- Information for emergency contacts, health care teams and insurance providers
- Over-the-counter medications, allergies, military health history, medical events and lab tests
- Daily records in your diet and physical activity (exercise) journals
- Recorded Vitals & Readings (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, heart rate, body temperature, weight, pain level, etc.)
My HealtheVet users who are registered as a ‘VA Patient’ can also see:
- Military service information from your VA and/or DoD records
- Prescription history.
VA patients: you can make your PHR even more beneficial by upgrading to a Premium Account. This level gives you full access to My HealtheVet features, including Secure Messaging with your VA health care team. When you download your data with the VA Blue Button, you can also view information that VA/DoD has added into your health record, such as:
- VA Chemistry/Hematology/Microbiology Lab results – the results from your lab tests
- Information on your VA Appointments– the details of recent and future appointments at VA medical centers and/or CBOCs
- VA Immunizations – a history of the immunizations you have received through VA
- VA Problem List – a list of your active health conditions and symptoms
- VA Notes – the clinical notes that your health care team records during your appointments or hospital stays
- VA Admissions and Discharges including discharge summaries-a list of admissions and discharges plus the detailed summary documented by your health care provider when you were discharged from the hospital
To get this type of account you need to go through Authentication* to verify your identity and have your My HealtheVet profile information linked to VA/DoD records.
A number of smartphone apps are also available through a variety of non-VA sources. While VA doesn’t endorse specific apps, there are now creative, secure and easy-to-use ways of viewing Blue Button data. Search for “Blue Button” in your smartphone apps library to learn more.
*To get an upgraded Premium My HealtheVet account, you will need to go through authentication. This is a process by which VA verifies a Veterans’ identity before allowing access to his or her VA health record.