Starting July 15th, 2021, we will be making enhancements to our secure patient portal to align with the 21st Century Cures Act. Please see our FAQ below to learn more about these changes and how they relate to you and your family.
What is the 21st Century Cures Act?
The 21st Century Cures Act is a law passed by Congress to help improve the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information. It requires all healthcare providers to share electronic data with patients when they ask for it. It gives patients more access to their health records and helps patients have greater control over their own care.
What does this mean for me?
Beginning July 15th, you will be able to view your health information through our secure patient portal. When logged in, you can easily see your medications, allergies, diagnosis, vital sign measurements, immunizations, and lab results. If you already have a portal account, you can also continue to use it to email us, schedule an appointment, and ask to refill your medications.
Will my parents/guardians be able to view medical records through the patient portal, or just me?
Although your health information will be available online through the patient portal, PANW will also follow HIPAA laws which require us to protect sensitive health information once patients turn 14 years old. This means sensitive information such as mental health, drug and
alcohol use, contraceptives, and sexual health are available only to you once you reach the age of 14 years and this information cannot be released to anyone (including parents and guardians) without your authorization.
Until the time you turn 14 years old, both you and your parents/guardians will have access to your electronic medical records through the portal. Once you turn 14 years old, only you will be able to view your electronic health information online; but your parents/guardians will still be able to use their own portal account to email providers and staff, send attachments, and request prescription refills.
Currently, my appointment links for virtual Behavioral Health visits are emailed to my parent/guardian through the secure patient portal. Will this continue after July 15th if I am 14 years or older?
Yes, if this is what you would like to happen. We will be contacting all behavioral health patients 14 years and older to sign a release of information specifically allowing us to continue sending virtual behavioral health visit links to your parent/guardian’s portal accounts if this is your preference. You can also call our office and ask for this release of information form if you do not want to wait for us to contact you.
What if my parents/guardians have concerns or questions about my health or care?
We strongly believe that your parents/guardians play an important
part in your health. This change to the portal is in no way meant to exclude them from your care. We still encourage them to be involved and we always welcome their questions, concerns, and discussions. Your adolescent years are an important time for building self-confidence, especially when it comes to taking care of your health.
This change only affects access to your electronic health record on the patient portal. Parents and guardians can still help you schedule appointments through our website, call or email the provider, and come with you to the office if you would like.
What if I have special needs and my parents/guardians need access to my health record?
If you have special healthcare needs that make it difficult to care for yourself, we encourage you and your parents/guardians to speak with your provider and if appropriate, complete the “Patient Portal Family Access Request” form. Depending on your unique health circumstances, an exception may be made so your parents/guardians can still view your electronic health record online.
If I want to share my portal account information with my parents/guardians so they can see my health information, can I do this?
You will have access to your electronic health record and it is up to
you to decide who you share that information with. You may share your patient portal log-in information with your parents/guardians if you would like. You may also create a new password at any time to stop sharing access. We always encourage you to talk with your parents/guardians about your health and any concerns you may have. It is important to remember that your portal log in information should be protected and only shared with parents/guardians and never with someone you do not know or who doesn’t need to know your health information.
What benefits will the 21st Century Cures Act have?
With the 21st Century Cures Act, you will have convenient access to your electronic medical records and greater control over your health. This a chance for you to be more involved in your healthcare, ask questions, make decisions based on information, and grow your independence- all skills that will serve you well as you become a resilient, young adult.
This is similar to our adolescent well visits where you have visits with your pediatrician independently and your parents/guardians may join before or after for questions or concerns. This process supports you in building strong, direct relationships with your provider.
How will PANW support me through this change?
We understand that the changes to our patient portal will affect each family differently. Your provider and the whole team at PANW are here to support you and your family. We will help you learn how to access your information through the portal, understand your medical record, and use this information to make decisions about your health. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
I have not signed up for a portal account yet but would like to. How do I do this?
You can create your secure patient portal account here, or call our office and our staff can help you create one.