OpenNotes: More than 30 Million Americans Have Access to their Clinical Notes

International advocacy movement promotes transparency and patient-clinician collaboration


  • newswise-fullscreen OpenNotes: More than 30 Million Americans Have Access to their Clinical Notes

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Newswise — BOSTON — OpenNotes announced today that more than 30 million Americans now have access to notes written by their clinicians in fully transparent medical records. OpenNotes is a call to action committed to improving health care by offering patients the opportunity to read notes written by their doctors, nurses, physician assistants, therapists, and other clinicians. Previously hidden from patients, these notes can be an essential tool for increasing communication, patient safety and the quality of care.

“Our research shows that patients benefit from reading their notes.  They report doing a better job taking their medications and finding serious mistakes in their visit notes,” said Catherine DesRoches, DrPH, Executive Director, OpenNotes. “Patients also say that reading notes helps them feel more in control of their care and builds trust between them and their clinicians.”

Patients, clinicians and innovators gathered with OpenNotes leadership in Seattle last week to discuss ways to use information technologies for achieving health equity, as well as to celebrate this OpenNotes milestone. Hosted by the Cambia Health Foundation, a funder of OpenNotes, the meeting focused on the crucial need to increase transparency in the health care industry.

“We are so excited to collaborate with OpenNotes and participate in this important conversation about how to make health care more equitable for vulnerable populations who are underserved or at-risk,” said Peggy Maguire, President of Cambia Health Foundation. “We are also honored to celebrate OpenNotes’ landmark of engaging more than 30 million Americans as they access their clinicians’ notes and navigate their health care more effectively.”

The evolution of technology has made sharing information easier with the advent of secure patient portals. Making clinical notes available in these portals takes little effort on the part of the medical provider while offering much to the patient.

“The benefits of sharing are enhanced by close communication among clinicians, patients, and families. We are exploring ways to make notes truly collaborative through co-generated medical records,” said Tom Delbanco, MD, co-founder of OpenNotes and John F. Keane & Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Our ultimate goal is for shared notes to become the standard of care.”

About OpenNotes

OpenNotes is an international movement that invites patients, families and clinicians to come together and improve communication through shared clinicians’ notes and fully transparent medical records. Based at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, OpenNotes is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare, the Cambia Health Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Shah Family Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and contributions from generous individuals. To learn more, visit www.opennotes.org.

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