Blue Button contest underway; FDA looks at how device identifiers affect EHRs;

> The Department of Veterans Affairs Department is launching a developers' competition to expand the use of its Blue Button method, which lets veterans use the Internet to download their health information from providers outside of the VA. The VA will announce the winner of the $50,000 first prize on Oct. 18. FierceHealthIT

> The Food and Drug Administration will hold a free public workshop in September addressing the adoption and use of a unique device identifier for medical devices. It also will look at how the identifier affects other systems--such as registries and databases within EHRs. Federal Register (.pdf)

> Ft. Myers, Fla.-based Lee Memorial Health System, which is in the process of launching a $70 million EMR system at its hospitals and clinics, is finding that the area's independent providers (which control 84 percent of outpatient care in the aras) think the system may be too expensive to buy into. Article

> Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center this week said it is notifying more than 2,000 patients that some of their personal information may have been stolen from a hospital computer. The hospital said that an unnamed computer service vendor performed maintenance that later was determined to have caused a virus infection, which transmitted data files to an unknown location. Article

> Holly Miller, chief medical officer of Fishkill, N.Y.-based MedAllies and vice chair of the HIMSS board of directors, will serve on the advisory board for the Investing in Innovations Initiative, an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information program designed to spur innovations in health IT. Article

And Finally... In a race, this one-wheeled tortoise might beat the hare. Article