Improved Patient Information Transparency Begins March 30
March 25, 2021 | 2 min. to read
Patients have a right to access their own personal healthcare information. The 21st Century Cures Act affirms this right and promotes further transparency by requiring healthcare providers to limit the barriers to accessing this information electronically. Transparency supports Northwestern Medicine’s Patient First mission, and patients have confirmed that they are in favor of these changes.
NM will implement changes to improve patient access to health information on Tuesday, March 30. The final federal rules take effect nationwide on April 5.
What this means for NM clinicians and patients The rules for releasing data vary in the following ways:
Hospital setting: Signed physician and APP notes and finalized test results will be released to MyNM after discharge.
Ambulatory setting: Signed physician and APP notes will be released when the encounter is closed, and results that are finalized prior to midnight will be released to MyNM at 9 am the following day.
Lab results that are released manually today will be auto-released at 14 days.
Lab results that are blocked today will remain blocked.
Items that may be blocked: In limited circumstances, physicians may block a note, or block or delay a result from appearing in MyNM for one of the following reasons:
Assessment of risk of harm to the patient
Only notes for visits starting March 3o will be released. Keep in mind that patients may request to receive any note or result from Health Information Management, including historical notes and those that have been blocked. Also, a note viewable by a patient in MyNM will also be viewable by anyone who has full-view proxy access to the patient’s account.
Improving clinical notes Good documentation is the foundation of safe and effective patient care, as well as compliant billing. Making notes viewable to patients does not change that standard. It is important to be complete and accurate, and to use objective and clear language. You may choose to adapt your writing to make notes more straightforward for the patient reader, as outlined in the NM Clinical Notes Writing Tips.
Information for patients regarding the release timing for results and the availability of clinical notes will be posted on nm.org and the MyNM homepage.