Tip Sheet: Launching your OpenNotes Program

Different institutions have taken different approaches to publicly announcing their adoption of open notes. Here are some suggestions:

Prepare clinicians and frontline staff for the launch:

  • Give talks/presentations to staff (see our template PowerPoint).
  • Prepare a set of FAQs that answers clinicians’ questions (see our template FAQs).
  • Send a letter from the CEO to all staff.
  • Provide departmental leaders with a template e-mail for their staff.
  • Put information for staff (including links to the OpenNotes videos) on your intranet.
  • Equip staff with materials for patients, including a set of patient FAQs and a handout describing open notes. Adapt our Patient FAQ and About OpenNotes handouts for your organization.

Inform patients and their caregivers:

  • Send an introductory e-mail to patients.
  • Promote open notes on your website and patient portal; include links to the OpenNotes videos.
  • Write an article for your newsletter.
  • Put posters in waiting rooms.
  • Share the news through social media, including Twitter and Facebook.
  • Advertise in local media.

 Engage the media and stakeholders:

  • Distribute a press release announcing the launch of your open notes program.
  • Write an opinion article for the local newspaper about the benefits of transparency andpatient engagement in medicine, and the role of open notes.
  • Collect stories about doctors and patients who are sharing notes and share them with media (see example video).
  • Ask clinicians and/or patients to blog about their experiences sharing notes. Add their posts to your institution’s blog or pitch them as guest posts to local blogs or health care blogs.
  • Commit to tracking the utilization of open notes by patients and clinicians and regularly update stakeholders with findings.
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