Our vision: Data empowers patients and healthcare providers to make the best decisions

We believe patients and their doctors should be able to easily access all their health information whenever and wherever they need it, and securely share it with caregivers, doctors and other healthcare organizations. We are working to make this vision a reality by working with public and private healthcare partners, adopting new data-sharing standards and implementing new technology.

We envision a future in which data helps improve the healthcare experience for all patients, improves their health and well-being and makes care more cost-effective.

The Challenges:


Systems and applications are generating more data than ever before


Outdated technologies hinder the ability to leverage patient data for advanced analytics and insights that could accelerate innovation and improve patient care


Most hospitals still use a combination of electronic and non-electronic methods to send and receive summary of care records1 instead of more efficient and secure electronic means


Healthcare organizations use a variety of different medical record systems and not all of them can “talk” to each other impacting the consumers’ ability to easily access their data


Common data standards are lacking for consumers and their caregivers to easily access and share health information

The Solution: Improved Interoperability

Interoperability is the ability of different information systems to access, share and collaboratively use data in a standardized manner. Here’s how healthcare organizations and public agencies can achieve interoperability to improve the patient experience:

  • Enabling access to data: When healthcare systems are able to share meaningful data, healthcare providers can easily see a patient’s complete health record and patients can access their information when and where they need it.
  • Standardizing data: In order to “talk” to each other, healthcare systems need to speak the same language. Healthcare organizations are currently working to standardize shareable data and ensure the appropriate privacy safeguards are in place. 
  • Creating a seamless flow: Public and private organizations are working together to remove barriers that are preventing the flow of data between patients, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to allow sharing and access in a secure, efficient and cost-effective way. 
  • Modernizing data platforms: Ensuring that patients can easily retrieve and share their health data requires an updated cloud-first technology infrastructure. This modernization effort is underway.

Learn more about ways BCBS companies are advancing specific interoperability initiatives:

Patient access
BCBS companies are modernizing the way consumers access their health information. We’re creating tools for patients, providers and insurers to “plug in” to data specific to their needs and enable better data exchange.

Holistic health data
BCBS companies are founding members of the Gravity Project, an initiative to include data about the social determinants of health—such as food insecurity— in electronic health records to make it easier for doctors and hospitals to understand and respond to the many kinds of risk factors that impact a person’s health.

Improving healthcare quality
BCBS companies are founding members of the HL7 Da Vinci Project, an initiative that helps health insurers and healthcare providers exchange electronic health data in a standard format and act on that data quickly to improve care. For example, insurers can integrate any prior authorization requirements right into a doctor’s workflow, reducing wait times. The project could also save providers time by ensuring they don’t have to re-enter patient data already available in the member’s record.

Person matching
Until recently, some healthcare systems have not been able to match all of the relevant records to a single patient or member. The BCBS Master Member Identifier (MMI) person matching algorithm links a single person across all BCBS companies with 99.5% accuracy to ensure data exchanged is connected to the correct member.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.