This toolkit offers suggestions and materials for communicating with staff, clinicians, patients, and the public. The goal is to help facilitate efficient and effective implementation of open notes.
We encourage hospitals, health systems, and individual clinics sharing notes to use the OpenNotes logo in your communication and outreach materials. It connects your organization to the OpenNotes movement and demonstrates your commitment to partnering with patients in their care. The logo can be used free of charge and is available in purple and white. Logo proportions must be retained, and we ask for design approval.
Send us a message to start the logo request process. Please include the name of your organization and how you intend to use the logo.
Other organizations must go through a special logo vetting process. Send us a message about how and why you are joining the OpenNotes movement.
1. Communicating with Clinicians
Clinicians and other staff members will have many questions: How will open notes affect workflow? How should I explain open notes to patients? What have other health systems experienced? What research findings are helpful?
Here are some resources to help you integrate open notes with your health system and manage expectations as you move toward implementation.
2. Communicating with Patients
In the initial OpenNotes study, and in several subsequently, as many as 99% of patients offered online access to their notes approved of the practice and wanted it to continue. Still, for most, open notes can take some getting used to. Moreover, more than a few patients may not realize that clinicians write notes. All patients will likely benefit from messaging about notes and your portal through multiple platforms, including posters, handouts, social media, email, text messaging, and person to person communication by members of the health team.
If you have an active Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC), we recommend involving it in developing your materials. You’ll find more information in our PFAC Toolkit.
3. Helping Patients Find Their Notes
Unfortunately, navigating patient portals remains a challenge virtually everywhere, and we have learned that patients often give up before finding what they need. Health systems that make it easy for patients to access notes, and remind them when a new note is available, find that more patients choose to register for their portals and use open notes to full advantage.
Here are some particularly effective examples of how some health systems are helping their patients to find notes.
|Quicklink on Portal (UCHealth)|
|Portal Reminder (Mayo Clinic)|
|New Note is Available (Kaiser Permanente)|
|Portal Landing Page (Intermountain Health)|
|New Note is Available (BIDMC)|
|How do I find my notes? (Yale Health)|
4. Communicating with Your Community
A strong press release helps local media celebrate your implementation of open notes. Stories about open notes in newsletters, on your employee portal, and on social media inform staff and patients. As patients, families, clinicians, and staff join as partners, adopting open notes can foster widespread communal pride… and, we believe, improved health and healthcare.
|e-Newsletter (Intermountain Healthcare)|
|Press Release (Duke Health)|
|Press Release (Allina Health)|
|Coming Soon Article (Roswell Park)|
Learn how to cite OpenNotes in your work.
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