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over 12 years ago

Reducing complexity. Officially.

One of the really cool things about contests like this is that they generate conversations which help turn complexity into simplicity.  

Ryan D. asked us this question on the Discussion forum:

“What I want to know is if I setup a web server and then have the web application accessible to all LCP's and get 25,000 LCP's to put a link on their website to my website with the Blue Button Application, does that count?  There would be no requirement for the LCP's to have to download anything, it would just run from my web server.  All the code behind would be available if this counted.”

The short answer is, so long as a couple of other pieces were in place, this would work.

There’s some things we want this Prize Contest to help make happen. One is that we help make Blue Button℠-enabled personal health records (PHR) available to our Veterans wherever they get their care – and while we’re at it, we help make Blue Button PHRs available to the rest of Americans, too. Another thing we’d like to do is help the folks who sponsor Blue Button PHRs be the same folks who Veterans and other patients go to see when they need health care – their doctors. 

So why not make it easier for doctors and other licensed clinical practitioners (LCPs) to set up Blue Button-enabled PHRs?  As Ryan says, why make doctors download anything? Why not enable folks to set up a central web server which delivers the Blue Button PHR to a doctor’s patients?

Why not indeed?   Isn’t that what hosted web sites are all about?

So here’s the answer we gave Ryan D:

The answer to your . . . question isn’t an unqualified “yes,” but instead a “yes-if.”   If you set up a web server with a Blue Button-enabled PHR, and if you then arrange with physicians to link their patients from the physician’s web site to your server where they can use that Blue Button PHR, and if the patient sees the PHR as sponsored by their physician – in other words, the fact that it’s on your server is transparent to the patient – then yes, that would count.  Of course, the app on your server would need to meet all of the contest requirements including privacy and security protections.”

About 20 minutes after we posted the answer to Ryan’s question, Chuck O went online to ask whether organizations which created PHRs – like health plans, managed care organizations, etc. – are eligible to win the prize.

The answer is another of those yes-ifs.  An organization which helps doctors and other LCPs connect to their patients with a Blue Button-enabled PHR is eligible to compete and win the prize in this contest, if all other eligibility requirements are met.

Now you can see these questions and these answers on the Discussion forum.  So why are we repeating them here?

Two reasons.  First, we think Ryan’s and Chuck’s questions are important enough to all potential participants that the answers are worth repeating.

And second, answers which we post on this Blog become official guidance and you can rely on them.  That’s in the rules.

So, Ryan, Chuck, everyone else:  Some ideas here to work with.  Hope they help.