Blue Button+ Implementation Guide

February 4, 2013 - Developer Preview | Help edit this site

Enabling the Download of Health Data

This section describes how a consumer can download a copy of their record from a portal.



As part of the View, Download, and Transmit requirements in Meaningful Use Stage 2, a patient must be able to download a copy of their health record. A high-level flow of this is:

  1. A patient (or their authorized representative) logs into the Patient Portal using previously-validated credentials
  2. Within the portal experience, there is access to functionality that allows them to download a copy of their health record
  3. The download happens over a secure connection such as HTTPS

The workflow in this section is meant to be illustrative, not prescriptive.


The patient needs to be able to download a package that is human-readable and machine-readable.

Required for MU 2

The required content for download will be the Clinical Summary, which is a snapshot of the patient’s health history. The content format shall use the Consolidated CDA w. Meaningful Use Stage 2 Sections and Fields and have a MIME type of application/xml.

If the data holder has not yet implemented Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT), they may alternatively use the data elements and format required by Meaningful Use Stage 1 for a Continuity of Care Document / C32.

To ensure human-readability, make sure the patient can download a stylesheet along with the Consolidated CDA. The file type is application/xslt.

Human-Readable Options

There are other human-readable options such as PDF or TXT. It will be up to electronic health record companies to decide how they can make this data more accessible for patients.