Tons of Awesome from Kansas City today!

I woke up today in beautiful La Jolla, California … not right on the beach but close enough to hear the seagulls and smell the surf in the air. With this at one end and the mountains of the Northwest at the other … it’s pretty hard to imagine me ever leaving the West Coast.

But right now, I’m feeling one heck of a lot of love for Kansas City.  2800 Rockcreek Parkway in North Kansas City, to be exact. Why, do you ask? Because today, Cerner launched Blue Button Plus connectivity as part of Cerner Direct.

OK, that’s a lot of HIT gobbly-gook. So let me be more clear what it means:


Cerner is, obviously, an enormous player in the EHR space. This move means that millions more patients can kickstart their HealthVault record today than could yesterday. As Greg put it, the “network just became a LOT bigger.”

This connectivity means a ton to me personally as well. David was a father of Direct; Greg has put countless hours into the technology and worked side by side with Umesh and Ali here to create an incredible open source resource for the community; Andy has been tireless at working through and selling the policy issues.

So here’s how it works:

  1. Ask if your provider uses Cerner. If they do, tell them you want them to send you your information using Cerner Direct. Fair warning: they may have to upgrade and/or sign up --- Cerner Direct is launched but not every Cerner shop has it today.
  2. Get a HealthVault Direct address. Just go to; the signup flow there will let you attach your existing account or create a new one.
  3. Give your Direct address to your provider and ask them to send a visit summary.

That’s it. Now --- if #1 doesn’t work out for you today, don’t despair. While your provider is busy getting connected to Cerner Direct, you can download a “CCD” document from their patient portal and upload it directly to HealthVault --- we’ll parse it out just the same, just a little less convenient.

AND --- if they don’t use Cerner at all --- ask for a CCD anyways. If they’re using a modern EHR at all, they should be able to get you that file. You may just have to push a little, but it’s worth it. A little shaming might help. ;)

Anyways … in case it’s not obvious, I couldn’t be more excited. The numbers show it --- persistence pays off and we are winning the war, one battle at a time. THANK YOU Cerner for being a great ally!


Fun fact: the VERY FIRST Direct message ever exchanged was in 2010, between Cerner and HealthVault. Pretty awesome.