By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

A new proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would require doctors, hospitals and insurance plans that operate within federal healthcare programs to make medical records available to patients in an easy-to-use smartphone format.

This gives new meaning to the idea of consumer-facing content.

It could open up a whole barrage of challenges, including placing additional strain on physicians and potentially affecting the reputation and ratings of care providers. It also demonstrates the unending march toward the consumerization of healthcare and its emphasis on transparency.

Of course, it also provides great opportunity to the solution providers, HIT companies in particular, to make this process easier to manage.

How will providers think about this content that will now be facing patients? We believe, as we’ve written about before, that a marketing department is not where content comes from. Content will come from all over your organization, and content of this type will impact the way your brand is perceived.

This means that organizations will be required to think about this aspect of care delivery and documentation in the same way we think about any newsletter, brochure or video aimed at a patient audience. Healthcare providers will need to pay attention to how its meaning could be perceived by the recipient.

What will the requirement to enable consumers—your patients—easy access to their medical records mean for your organization? Are you ready?

Photo | Getty images

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