On behalf of the HealthVault team, I’m incredibly excited to announce the availability of the HealthVault 1311 release. Let’s take a look at the awesome set of features being made available this release. 

Microsoft Account Sign Up Changes

HealthVault is upgrading to the latest Microsoft account workflow for new account creations.  We’re making this change to provide a consistent experience for new users across all Microsoft products, and help improve the security of Microsoft accounts that are used with HealthVault.

Previously, HealthVault created both a Microsoft account and HealthVault account for new users in one step.  In 1311, users will need to create and verify a Microsoft account before a HealthVault account is created.  The new workflow requires users to validate the email address used with their Microsoft account.

Account Creation and Application Authorization Improvements

We are improving account creation and application authorization to provide a more streamlined experience.

During account creation, if all the required account information is provided by the user’s identity provider, HealthVault will present a simple and clean one-click read-only account creation step.  Users still have the option to edit any of the provided information prior to account creation. 

The application authorization experience has been simplified.  This process used to require two separate steps – selection of the records to be used with the application, and authorization of the application for the selected records.  These steps have been combined, so the user can both select the records and authorize the application on the same page.  Furthermore, we added the ability to add additional records inline during application authorization.  This previously required navigation to a separate page.

All existing application configurations and redirect targets are supported.  There are no changes required from partners to support these improvements.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification

HealthVault is now a Meaningful Use Stage 2 (2014 Edition) certified EHR module for patient engagement objectives.

HealthVault previously supported many of the features necessary to achieve this certification. In 1311 we’ve added a number of new capabilities and made improvements in existing functionality in support of Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification. This includes the ability to easily download CCDAs in human-readable and machine-readable format, to easily attach CCDAs when transmitting Direct messages from HealthVault, and to present an audit history of relevant actions for users and their authorized representatives.

Most importantly, we’ve made it really easy for industry partners including EHR vendors to connect with us and use HealthVault as part of their own certification for the patient engagement objectives of Meaningful Use Stage 2. See Meaningful Use with HealthVault for an overview and for technical integration information. When you’re ready to start your implementation, take a look at the HealthVault Meaningful Use Reporting Sample for a code sample of sending CCDAs to HealthVault and retrieving view, download, and transmit reports. You can read more about HealthVault’s certification on Sean’s FamilyHealthGuy blog.

HealthVault Messaging

It’s been almost 3 years since we added Direct messaging capabilities and Message Center to HealthVault. Since that time, Direct messaging has grown from being used in regional message exchange pilots, to today being a required part of Meaningful Use Stage 2 with support in EHR products used throughout the industry. In 1311, we’ve made a number of updates to HealthVault to appropriately represent the important role Direct messaging plays in the U.S. healthcare industry.

Every HealthVault user now receives a Direct address upon signing up with HealthVault. To help users discover and make the most of their Direct address, the HealthVault homepage now lists the user’s Direct address along with a summary of the most recent messages in the inbox. Sign-in to HealthVault to take a look at the new homepage. Additionally, Message Center allows users to generate a PDF which lists their Direct address and has useful information to facilitate conversations with providers on sending health information to users in HealthVault. Take a look on the Message Center homepage.

If you’re part of an organization looking to establish Direct message exchange with HealthVault users, see Direct Messaging to learn more.

(Note: Direct messaging is only available in the U.S. HealthVault instance).

Improved Export, Print and Message Attachments

In 1311 HealthVault has new capabilities for exporting, printing and adding attachments to Direct messages. From the “More actions” link on the Health information page, users can select the data types and date ranges of information they want to export from their record to a CCD(A) file, a CCR file, or to friendly HTML format. Similarly for printing, users can select the data types and date ranges for the data in their record to print. Also, now when sending a new Direct message, users can easily add CCDA attachments from information in their health record.

Identity Federation

HealthVault has added support for the WS-Federation protocols as part of a new identity federation feature. This will allow organizations that provide sign-in credentials for large consumer populations, to federate consumer identity with HealthVault when users sign-up or sign-in. If you’re interested in enabling connectivity with HealthVault using your organization’s identity provider that supports a large consumer base, contact us to find out more.

Device Directory Creation

HealthVault now allows developers to create device directory entries directly from ACC. If you haven’t already, visit ACC to add your HealthVault-connected device to the directory.