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  • Writer's pictureDevScripts Solutions

The Cures Act

Interoperability: Definition and Why It Matters to Independent Pediatricians
The Cures Act

The Cures Act

There’s always been far too much information for the facilities to create and manage when it comes to health data. Healthcare practitioners and providers often need to exchange the patient’s data between facilities - and of course, to the patient in case they request.

The abundance of patient data is also challenging for health tech apps to keep safe. There are too many data breaches or cyber-attack risks while storing digital patient data locally or on the cloud. Interoperability - is what medical software vendors are working rigorously nowadays. Patients need their data, and there must be a safe way of communication between health IT products.

If the health data isn’t available for the patient - or if the available information is in “non-readable” format for them then it’s a data blockage. And like HIPAA protocol was passed by Federal Law to ensure the safety of protected health information PHI in 1996, CURES Act is given to control the Interoperability and Information Blocking.

What is the Cures Act?

The 21st Century Cures Act was initially signed on the 13th of December, 2016, by former president Barack Obama. The legislation’s primary purpose is to ensure that providers and patients have access to as much information as possible, giving them more choices in how treatments are done, especially in taking second opinions.

The final rule of the 21st-century cures act is updated on March 9, 2020. According to this federal mandate, health data between health IT products, apps, and devices can no longer be blocked for patients. It’s their right to have free of charge access to their medical records in the EMR/EHR or any other health IT system.

What information would be shared?

When we say “access to information,” it seems as though the entire personal files of the patients would be up for display, but that’s not the case. Providers can have access to 8 types of clinical notes. These include:

  • Consultation notes,

  • Patient’s history,

  • Procedure notes

  • Progress notes,

  • Laboratory results,

  • Pathology reports,

  • Radiological findings, and

  • Clinical information at the time of discharge.

What technical requirements are needed by the Medical Software?

Patient data can be read through API technology. In some cases, there is a need to create/update the patient data (When we need to transfer data from LIMS or Teleradiology application to EHR). In both read/write cases, the API will be required to support the FHIR standard release 4, also called FHIR Release 4.0.1 or HL7 v2 protocols.

So if you have medical software (EHR, EMR, LIMS, etc.) or planning to develop one, you must implement FHIR - to have a secure and safe interoperable system. In addition, if your health or medical software were using CCDs (Common Clinical Data Set) for patient datasets, you would need to switch your datasets to the new United States Core Data for Interoperability or USCDI (USCDI v1).

Why is it essential to implement the Cures Act on time

The Cures Act makes it, so everyone has to switch to a better, interoperable system. The patients can report to the help center if they can’t access their data after April 5, 2021. Also, as the healthcare facilities and their medical software will implement what is necessary to follow the Cures Act, patients and healthcare providers will flock to those facilities.

The ones that lag might just lose out on a lot of business as a result, and that’s a loss that not every facility will be able to bear.


DevScripts Solutions is an IT Consultant Firm Specializing in Interoperability within the Healthcare Arena.

We are a small team solving big interoperability challenges on a daily basis. With our vast knowledge of interoperability we can integrate ourselves as part of your organization just like we are part of your full-time team. We develop a variety of custom interfaces for healthcare organizations such as Healthcare Vendors, HIEs, Health Systems, Hospitals, Medical Practices, Payors and ACOs using Mirth Connect.

We work with businesses in California, Georgia, New York, Florida, Texas and throughout the wider United States.

For more information on our services or to arrange a consultation call please contact us today.

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