Medical Staff - August 2021 Newsletter

Information Blocking

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the Cures Act Final Rule on March 9, 2020 which establishes exceptions to the 21st Century Cures Act's information blocking provision that became effective on April 5, 2021.

The rule prohibits information blocking defined as “a practice that an Actor (ie. healthcare provider) knows or, in some cases, should know is likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage access, exchange, or use of electronic health information.”

The intent of the rule is to minimize barriers and delays for releasing electronic health data to patients. There are a number of phases to the regulation. SUNY Downstate is in the midst of implementing the first phase which involves automatically releasing electronic health information in HealthBridge to the patient’s portal. This means that notes, labs, imaging, pathology and other documentation get released to the patient as soon as the note/ report/ test is complete in HealthBridge. Resident notes are considered incomplete until the attending co- signs the documentation.

It is important for you to understand the impact of this regulation on your documentation and on your daily practices. In addition to ensuring, of course, that your documentation is accurate and complete, because patients will have now have direct access to their information, you should contact patients expeditiously to discuss any concerns or abnormal findings. Please note that there are certain exceptions to the information blocking rule, including information that may cause physical harm to the patient or that is protected under patient privacy laws. Accordingly, notes & labs for certain sensitive topics will not be released to the patient portal.

HealthBridge will begin automatically releasing certain documentation on 06/11/2021. We are working on enabling a mechanism for providers to hold back specific notes that may cause harm to the patient or meets another exception. We will keep you apprised of these developments.

If you have questions related to this process, please contact Dr. Yusuff at 718-270-2407

Central Brooklyn

University Hospital at Downstate (UHD) is the teaching Hospital of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, the only academic medical center providing patient care, education, research and community services for the nearly 5 million people living in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.