As we announced last week, Main Line Health is preparing for the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation that goes into effect on Monday, November 2 at health systems across the country.
This act is the latest in a series of federal legislation that advocates for patients to have secure, ready access to their electronic medical records. This federal law applies to all providers and practices with an electronic medical record system, not just MLH’s instance of Epic. Independent providers should contact their EMR vendor to make sure they are compliant with the changes in the law.
One of the most significant changes that will occur as a result of this act is that provider notes will be automatically available to patients in their MyChart patient portal immediately following an appointment or discharge from the ED or hospital. While notes created prior to November 2 will not be released, patients do have the option to request them through the usual HIM request process.
This change is an important one and is a part of providing patients with the information they need to manage their care and take charge of their health. However, this will necessitate some changes to the manner and language in which these provider notes are written, as these are now not only intended for providers and other medical professionals—but for patients, as well.
You can find the tip sheets and FAQ documents on Wellspring. The first tip sheet is intended to help you introduce open notes to patients and set expectations for the information they can expect to find in these notes. The second is a guide to using direct, clear and respectful language regarding a variety of health issues. We hope that you will use these as a resource.
As we approach November 2, you will continue to hear more about how Main Line Health is preparing providers, patients and employees for the new access offered by the 21st Century Cures Act. Emails will be sent weekly to providers, with a new set of tip sheets each week to help you navigate the changes brought forth by this legislation.
At any point, should you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your chairs or VPMA.
Don Klingen, MD
Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Information Officer
John Potts, DO
Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer