Accessing Your Medical Information: The Latest on What You Need to Know about the 21st Century Cures Act

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When your care team orders new tests for you, they may take time to talk with you about viewing and understanding your medical records in MyMSK.

Patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center now have access to important information such as test results and reports sooner than ever before.

The 21st Century Cures Act is a law that gives patients access to information about their care as soon as it becomes available. By October 6, 2022, MSK and other medical centers around the country must fully comply with this law.

Transparency with patients and caregivers is a fundamental part of our mission. We have always believed that you should be empowered with the information you need to understand and manage your care. The best cancer care is a partnership between patients, their caregivers, and their providers, and we are hopeful that complying with the 21stCentury Cures Act helps achieve this goal.

How quickly can I view my medical information?

Beginning October 3, 2022, test results, scan results, and care team notes will be available to you immediately in MyMSK, our patient portal.

  • The results of imaging exams (such as X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans) and pathology results (such as blood tests) will appear in MyMSK as soon as they are available, instead of two days after they are finalized.
  • For patients 18 and older, care team notes will be available in MyMSK as soon as they are entered into our system. These include notes from doctor’s office visits, hospital stays, urgent care visits, nursing care, and other types of appointments. For more information about these visit notes, please read our Frequently Asked Questions About Viewing Your Notes in MyMSK »

Additionally, you will be able to download a machine-readable file of your medical record to share with healthcare providers outside MSK. Your providers can upload this file to their electronic health record systems. It is sometimes called the Continuity of Care Document (CCD). 

As a result of these changes, you may see your imaging exam results and pathology results before your care team has had the opportunity to review them. While some results are easy to understand, others may be less clear or could cause concern. You always have the choice to view this information as soon as it is available or wait until you are contacted by a member of your care team. Your care team can explain what the results mean based on your individual medical history.

When your care team orders new tests for you, they may take time to talk with you about viewing and understanding your medical records in MyMSK. Please let them know if you have questions or concerns.

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How do I access this information?

MSK patients can register for MyMSK by visiting my.mskcc.org or by talking with their care team.

In MyMSK, you can tell MSK how and when you would like to be notified about new information in your medical record by updating your notification preferences. You can also review who has access to your medical information in MyMSK.

Learn more about accessing your medical information in MyMSK »

You can also request a copy of your results, notes, and records by contacting MSK’s Health Information Management department by phone at 646-227-2089 or email [email protected].

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Who has access to this information?

All MSK patients have access to their results, notes, and records through MyMSK. Anyone to whom you have given proxy access to your MyMSK account, such as a family member or caregiver, can also see this information. Pediatric patients ages 12 to 18 are asked to give their consent for a parent or guardian to have access to their MyMSK account.

To review or make changes to who has access to your MyMSK account, you will need to visit my.mskcc.org on a web browser from your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. You will not be able to make any changes through the MyMSK iOS or Android app. Once you have logged in, click your initials in the top right corner, click “Profile,” and then select “Personal Information and Account Access.”

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What do I need to know as a caregiver?

If you have been granted proxy access to your loved one’s MyMSK account, you will be able to view their results, notes, and records as soon as they are available to the patient.

The same consideration for patients applies to caregivers: Having ready access to information can be helpful and convenient, but certain results require especially careful interpretation. Our providers will continue to offer guidance as quickly as possible.

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What do I do if I want to wait to speak with my provider before seeing my results on MyMSK?

You can choose not to receive email notifications about new information in your MyMSK account. The information will still appear in your account, but you may choose not to view it until your provider contacts you. Contact your provider’s office if you have any questions about viewing your results.

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How long after my results are on the patient portal should I expect to hear from my provider?

It could take a few hours to a couple of days for your provider to review and interpret your results. Rest assured, we are committed to keeping you informed and getting in touch as soon as possible.

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