Okay, this is a really big deal for two reasons.
Getting your medical records from doctor to doctor is really important. If you're a vet, this makes it really easy:
The MyHealtheVet Personal Health Record (PHR) is comprised of self-entered health metrics (blood pressure, weight, heart rate, etc.), emergency contact information, test results, family health history, military health history, and other health related information. The Blue Button extract that Veterans can download is a so-called "ASCII text file", the easiest and simplest electronic text format (see a sample Blue Button file).
Blue Button PHRs can be printed, or saved on computers and portable storage devices. Having control of this information enables Veterans to share this data with health care providers, caregivers, or people they trust.
Also, really big: this effort represents another step toward a more effective Veterans Affairs operation, which better serves their customers, and which learns from the private sector to return better value for the taxpayer dollar. This is happening all over Washington, with VA, yes VA, helping to blaze a new trail.