HHS Rules Give Patients ‘Unprecedented’ Access to Health Data

 In Blog

The importance of patient engagement in healthcare has become a growing discussion recently amongst many physicians and providers in the United States. Healthcare organizations across the country have already begun employing strategies to better engage patients which have been aided by new technology such as smartphones and wearable technology. However, patients will soon have what The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) called “unprecedented” secure and free access to their health information.

Two rules finalized by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and CMS — meant to carry out the interoperability and patient access provisions under the 21st Century Cures Act — will allow patients to access their health data using apps so that they can make better health care decisions.1

“These steps will dramatically improve American patients’ experience in health care,” Secretary Alex Azar said in a conference call with reporters. “This is truly a major milestone and historic day in health care.”1

Cris Ross, MBA, MS, chief information officer at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, explained how the access to data envisioned by HHS differs from what is currently allowed through the online portals that many health systems and insurance companies provide patients.1

“A portal provides a way for an organization to share everything they know or as much as they choose to share with the patient,” he said in an interview. “Now, with the final rules, health systems are required to provide an interface so that a patient can come to their health care systems with essentially any app, receive their information and combine their information from many providers into one place.”1

Luckily, TracPatch is already being used as a tool for patients to access their healthcare information and track their recovery progress after a total knee replacement surgery. The technology is beneficial because it has both a portal and application for the healthcare provider as well as an application for the patient which collects data from two surface sensors adhered to the patient’s leg. TracPatch gives patients the ability to control their recovery progress from the comfort and safety of their own home while their healthcare provider can monitor them regardless of location or time of day.

The technology is unique because it will be able to integrate with other EHR and health apps making it even easier for patients to track and review their overall health data. TracPatch may be just the tool to keep providers connected while giving patients secure access to their health information. For more information about TracPatch contact us today.


  1. (2020, March 10). HHS rules give patients ‘unprecedented’ access to health data. Retrieved March 11, 2020, from https://www.healio.com/primary-care/practice-management/news/online/{2383077b-d97b-4adf-9e30-3c08ee601aa7}/hhs-rules-give-patients-unprecedented-access-to-health-data
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