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 patients and their families.
What is the 21st Century Cures Act?
The 21st Century Cures Act is a piece of legislation passed by Congress to help enhance the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information. It requires all healthcare providers to share electronic data with patients upon request. It aims to give patients more access to their health records and empower patients with greater control over their own care.
What does this mean for patients at PANW?
Beginning July 15th, patients will be able to view their electronic medical record through our secure patient portal. When logged in, patients can easily see their medications, allergies, diagnosis, vital sign measurements, immunizations, and lab results.
Will parents/guardians be able to view medical records through the patient portal, or just the patient?
While we make enhancements to our patient portal to make electronic health information more readily available, we must also follow HIPAA laws which require us 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 solely to the patient once they reach the age of 14 years and this information cannot be released to anyone (including parents and guardians) without the authorization of the adolescent patient.
Until the time a patient turns 14 years old, both the patient and parents/guardians will have access to view electronic medical records through the portal. Once a patient turns 14 years, only the adolescent will be able to view their electronic health information online; however, parents/guardians will be able to continue using their portal account to email providers and staff, send attachments, and request prescription refills.
Currently, my adolescent’s appointment links for virtual Behavioral Health visits are emailed to me through the secure patient portal. Will this continue after July 15th if my adolescent is 14 years or older?
Yes, if this is what your adolescent desires. We will be contacting all behavioral health patients 14 years and older to sign a release of information specifically authorizing PANW to continue sending virtual behavioral health visit links to parent/guardian portal accounts if this is their preference. Adolescents may also call our office and ask for this release of information form if they do not want to wait for us to contact them.
What if I have concerns or questions about my adolescent’s health or care?
We remain steady in our belief that parents and guardians play an integral role in the health of their adolescent. This change to the portal is in no way intended to exclude parents/guardians from their adolescent’s care. We still encourage you to be involved and we always welcome questions, concerns, and discussions with parents/guardians. The 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 adolescent’s electronic health record on the patient portal. Parents and guardians can still help schedule appointments through our website, call or email the provider, and accompany their adolescent to the office. To email your provider from your parent/guardian account, click on ‘Send a message’ and choose the “Email the Clinic” option when you sign in to the portal. To refill prescriptions, you can contact the pharmacy or use the “Email the Clinic” option on the portal as well.
What if my adolescent is unable to care for him/herself and I need access to their health record?
For youth who have special healthcare needs that render them unable to care for themselves, we encourage parents/guardians to speak with their provider and if appropriate, complete the “Patient Portal Family Access Request” form. Depending on the patient’s unique health circumstances, an exception may be made to retain access to the electronic health record.
If my adolescent wants to share their portal account information with me, is it okay to log in under their name to view their medical record?
Adolescents will have access to their electronic health record and it is
up to each patient to decide who they share that information with. Patients may share their patient portal log-in information with parents/guardians if they would like. They may also change a new password at any time to restrict access. We always encourage open communication and this is a great opportunity to have a conversation with your adolescent about their healthcare.
What benefits will the 21st Century Cures Act have?
With the 21st Century Cures Act, patients will have convenient access to their electronic medical records and greater control over their health. This an opportunity for your adolescent to be a more active participant in their healthcare, ask questions, make informed decisions, and further develop their independence- all skills that will serve them well as they grow into resilient, young adults.
This is similar to our adolescent well visits where adolescents have visits with their pediatrician independently and parents may join before or after for additional questions or concerns. This process empowers adolescents and fosters strong, direct relationships between patients and their provider.
How will PANW support families through this change?
We understand that the enhancements to our patient portal will affect each family differently. Your provider and the whole team at PANW are here to support you and your adolescent. We will help your adolescent learn how to access their information through the portal, understand
their medical record, and use this information to make decisions about their health. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
My adolescent and I have not signed up for a portal account yet but would like to. How do we do this?
Adolescent patients and their parents/guardians can create a secure patient portal account here. If you also have a child younger than 14 years old and you would like to view their electronic health information through the portal, please call our office after you have created your account and our staff will link you to your child’s account. If you simply want to use the secure email messaging and refill prescriptions for your child, you do not need to be linked to your child’s account.