One town hall audience member asked how the agency intends to reach those goals. Specifically, how can ONC and the industry in general convince consumers that it is OK to walk into their doctor's office and ask for their health data and how can providers ensure that patients get those records and get them consistently?
"We don't own consumer eHealth in any way, shape, or form," he said. "We are at best enablers and sometimes conveners. But we recognize that the real strength of this movement comes from out there, from all of you."
For example, he said, nurses are willing and uniquely able to advocate for patients and help them in getting access to their healthcare data. That's the kind of partnership that will drive the movement, he said. Caregivers and family members can also play a role, he said.
Organizations that participate commit to making it easier for patients to access their personal health data and to educate patients as to why it is important to do so. ONC representatives also touted the Blue Button Initiative, a platform that makes it easier for patients to download their medical records.