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July 19, 2021 – The federal Open Notes Rule (the “Rule”) implements a portion of the federal 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) related to “information blocking.” It specifies that clinical notes are among electronic health information (EHI) that must not be “blocked.” The notes must be available free of charge to patients and their representatives. Such access is through a patient portal or health applications on a smart device. The Rule significantly changes the way patient information will be shared and effectively mandates a Cloud for EHI.

The Rule, announced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) on March 9, 2020, gives patients “unprecedented safe, secure access to their health data” to make better health care decisions for themselves.

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