OpenNotes Passes the 20 Million Mark

Number of health systems sharing notes doubles in one year


Newswise — BOSTON – OpenNotes has reached a new milestone. More than 20 million patients can now read their notes securely online using patient portals.

“It has been a remarkable year for us. We’ve seen the number of health systems sharing notes and the number of patients with access to them double,” said Catherine M. DesRoches, DrPH, OpenNotes Executive Director. “We continue to learn about the benefits of note sharing, including improved safety, and what patients value about having access, such as being able to share notes with caregivers or care partners.”

Recent implementers, Yale Heath and Yale New Haven Health System helped get Connecticut and Rhode Island on the OpenNotes map.

“Yale New Haven Health System and Yale School of Medicine are pleased that our patients are part of this important open notes initiative. Having ready access to their notes is a great leap forward in transparency and patient centered care,” said Allen L. Hsiao MD, FAAP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics & of Emergency Medicine, and Chief Medical Information Officer, Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Health.

Murfreesboro Medical Center was the first to implement OpenNotes in Tennessee. Bon Secours Health System was the first in West Virginia. OpenNotes also recently welcomed Covenant HealthCare, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, Augusta University Health, and Intermountain Healthcare.

“When I started in the role of eBusiness Director four and a half years ago, one of my strategic objectives was greater transparency and access for our patients. With the implementation of OpenNotes, we’ve been able to deliver on that important piece,” said Susan Tew, Director of Customer Digital Solutions who guided OpenNotes implementation at Intermountain Healthcare. “The time spent on outreach and education ensured that as we “flipped the switch” all of us were ready and excited about the new service we were providing our patients. The feedback has been universally positive and I feel great pride in knowing that Intermountain Healthcare is again at the forefront in providing extraordinary patient care.”    

University Hospitals, with 141,000 patients registered on their portal, was the system to push OpenNotes over the 20 million mark.

“Giving patients access to their notes is one more way we can improve our communication with them, engaging them in their healthcare and an understanding of their medical issues and treatment plans,” said Crystal Mosca, MD, UHCare Ambulatory Physician Lead. “We hope this will open a dialogue between patients and providers to better understand both the patient and physician role in treatment of illness and promotion of wellness.”

“With the addition of these systems, we have representation in every state, except Alabama, and we’re working to introduce OpenNotes there too,” said DesRoches. “We’re very excited with the momentum OpenNotes is gaining, but there is still plenty or work left to do. So stay tuned, there will be much to share.”

About OpenNotes

OpenNotes is an international movement dedicated to making health care more open and transparent by encouraging doctors, nurses, therapists, and others to share visit notes with patients through secure, patient portals, giving patients easier access to important information they already have the legal right to receive. The goal is to empower patients, families, and caregivers to feel more in control of their health care decisions, and to improve the quality and safety of care. The movement to make ready access to visit notes the standard of care for all patients is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare and Cambia Health Foundation. Learn more at www.opennotes.org.


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