Many health systems are opening up records this week, the original deadline. At the last minute, federal health officials week gave an extension until April because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Britta Bloomquist of Duluth, Minnesota, has been reading her clinical notes for years, first struggling through red tape and more recently clicking into a secure online patient website.
“It means information about your care can no longer be hidden from you. And you have a say in your care,” said Bloomquist, 32, who has a rare type of arthritis that took years to diagnose.
Patients have long had a right to their medical records, including doctor notes, but obtaining them could mean filling out requests, waiting for a response and paying fees. A 2016 law said delays and barriers must be removed.
If you already use a patient portal such as MyChart to email your doctor or schedule an appointment, you may soon see new options allowing you to view your doctor’s notes and see your test results as soon as they are available. You may get an email explaining where to look, how to share access with a caregiver and how to keep other eyes off your information.
Many people won’t notice a change. About 15% of health care systems already are letting patients read doctor notes online without charge. That means about 53 million patients already have access to their doctor’s notes.
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