CURES Act (Open Notes)

FAQs about Your Medical and Mental Health Records and the CURES Act (Open Notes)

Q. What is Open Notes and the Cures Act?

A. Open Notes is a national movement to provide patients with information and access to their health records. Beginning April 2021, all patients with records in Health e-Messenger will be able to access notes that are entered by health care providers. This is in alignment with the implementation of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Cures Act Final Rule.

Q. What if I notice any errors in my medical or mental health record?

A. If you notice any errors that would affect your treatment or health care, send a message to Health Information Management. When you log into Health e-Messenger, select “Messages” and then “Send Message” to Health Information Management (Medical Records).

Q. What if I don’t understand my laboratory or radiology results?

A. You may be able to access laboratory results and radiology reports before your healthcare provider has reviewed them. Once your healthcare provider reviews the results, they will message you to explain what the results mean. 

It is common for some lab results to be highlighted as “abnormal,” but they may not be significant in terms of your health, especially if the result is close to the normal range. Your healthcare provider will interpret the results and provide you information and guidance with your health history in mind.

Some lab results (such as sexually transmitted infection test results) will not be released immediately because they require the review of a health care provider before they are released.

Q. When can I see a note from my visit?
You will be able to find your notes in Health e-Messenger once the healthcare provider completes it.

Q. What if I don’t understand something written in the note?
A. Keep in mind that healthcare providers use the notes to communicate with others involved in your care. The notes may not necessarily be written in lay-person’s language. If you find the note difficult to understand because of unfamiliar terms or abbreviations, Medline Plus is a good resource to help you understand those terms. You may also schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider to clarify any questions with your health or plan of care.

Q. I’m concerned about privacy. Who else has access to my medical and mental health records?
Your medical and mental health information can only be viewed by people who are legitimately involved in your care. Clinicians and other staff operate under strict confidentiality rules. To maintain your privacy it is very important to keep your Health e-Messenger login and password (your CruzID and your gold password) private. When you finish looking at Health e-Messenger, log out to avoid others looking at your medical information.


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