Evolving Foundations
NCPD Article

Impact of the 21st Century Cures Act on Patients and the Healthcare Team

Virginia Simmons

Tiffany Boman

Shannon A. Stewart

Cures Act, information blocking, open notes, electronic health information
CJON 2024, 28(1), 21-25. DOI: 10.1188/24.CJON.21-25

The 21st Century Cures Act is designed to make healthcare information more accessible and transparent to patients and the healthcare team. The provisions to address information blocking dictate that health information such as clinical notes, laboratory test results, and imaging reports in an electronic health record must be immediately available to patients through a secure online portal. Implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act mandate has presented challenges and benefits for patients and the healthcare team. Challenges can be addressed through awareness, continued support for patients and the healthcare care team, and by sharing experiences.


  • Having access to healthcare information empowers patients and increases their trust in the healthcare team.
  • Patients can be encouraged to take advantage of the benefits of health information technology (e.g., patient portals).
  • Patients should be informed about the release timing of results and the importance of follow-up visits to review and discuss information. 
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