Post-Cures Act: Implications for Nurse Practitioners


      • Cures Act requires organizations provide patients with full access to their medical information
      • Patient activation is critical if a true partnership is envisioned
      • OpenNotes provides resources for NPs as they share clinical notes
      • OurNotes encourages patients to provide health information prior to visit
      • Collaborative patient provider partnership critical to shared decision making


      The Cures Act of April 2021, gives the public full and immediate access to their medical records in 8 different categories, with 2 exemptions: civil and criminal suits and administrative actions and psychotherapy session notes. There is language prohibiting an individual or organization from blocking this access. This article examines how this legislation impacts nurse practitioners building on and expanding their relationship with their patients and how critical it is that patients become full participating members in their care. The level of patient engagement and their activation as partners are critical for patients to fully benefit from this increased access. Obstacles to increasing patient engagement include low health and computer literacy of patients, providers not encouraging their patients to become active in their care, system-related barriers, such as the organization having other priorities than increasing patient engagement, and community factors to include media that do not address cultural aspects. Nurse practitioners need to continue to maintain a positive, respectful, and supportive milieu in which the patient, the family, and health care team function in a partnership, one in which there is shared decision making with the patient at the center, encouragement of portal usage, and dealing with health and computer literacy and any other barriers to developing this partnership.


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      Catherine Fant, PhD, RN-BC, is an adjunct professor at Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, and can be contacted at [email protected] .


      Deborah Adelman, PhD, RN, NE-BC, is a professor, Graduate Nursing Programs, Purdue University Global, West Lafayette, IN.


      Concetta Zak, DNP, MBA, FNP-BC, is dean and professor at Oak Point University, Oak Brook, IL. In compliance with standard ethical guidelines, the authors report no relationships with business or industry that would pose a conflict of interest.