A Change in How You Can Access Your Medical Information: What You Need to Know about the 21st Century Cures Act

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Steven Wang with a patient

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 now have access to important information such as test results and reports sooner than ever before. The 21st Century Cures Act set out to improve the way providers share information to coordinate the care of their patients and to improve patients’ access to their own medical information. New regulations enacted under this law went into effect in early April 2021.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, transparency with patients and caregivers is a fundamental part of our mission. We have always believed that patients should be informed and empowered, and that the best cancer care is a partnership between patients, their families, and their healthcare teams.

As such, we want to help you access and understand your health-related information. Some test results are easy to understand, but others require more context and explanation by your healthcare provider. Without proper context, reading some results may upset you or cause you to worry. You should decide the best time to view your results, and you may choose to wait to review your results until your healthcare provider contacts you.

Beginning May 3, some results will be released immediately, and other information will be released to patients within days, as explained below.

How quickly can I view my medical information?

Lab test results, medical reports, and certain notes about treatment will appear in our patient portal, MyMSK, as soon as they are in our computer system.

Imaging results (such as PET, MRI, and CT scans) and most pathology results will be released two business days after they are finalized. This allows MSK providers time to review test results and discuss them with their patients before they appear in MyMSK.

Screening mammography and screening breast ultrasound results will appear in MyMSK the same day or on the following business day.

As a result of these new regulations, 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. At your next consultation, please let them know if you have questions or concerns.

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How do I access this information?

The fastest way to access your results and reports is via MyMSK. If you don’t already have a MyMSK account, it’s easy to register by visiting my.mskcc.org. Here is a video with instructions on how to enroll.

When you log in to MyMSK, select “Medical Info” to see your results. This web page may look different or contain more information than what you have seen before.

You can also request a copy of your results and reports by contacting MSK’s Health Information Management department by phone at 646-227-2089 or email HIMROI@mskcc.org.

Patient Portal: MyMSK
Learn how to enroll in MyMSK, a secure website that provides access to information about your or your loved one’s care at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
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Who has access to this information?

Patients have access to most test results, most reports, and some clinical notes through MyMSK. Anyone to whom you have given proxy access to your MyMSK account, such as a family member or caregiver, can also see your results. Pediatric patients under age 18 will need to have a parent or guardian access 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 “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 medical information, including results that are available right away and those that are available after two business days.

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?

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. Rest assured, we are committed to keeping you informed and getting in touch as soon as possible.

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