As we begin 2019, we are glad to report that more than 36 million Americans can access their visit notes through patient portals. But that’s only 10% of the U.S. population. It does look as if “rules” that are emerging from the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act passed two years ago will help stimulate further spread aggressively, but the fact is that simply “turning on” note sharing does not mean that patients can find, read, and benefit from their notes easily. So we are focusing increasingly on finding ways to implement OpenNotes more effectively. Only then can a large number of patients in a given practice access and benefit from note-sharing.
In this month’s newsletter, we highlight two health organizations in Rochester, New York, that are working together to ensure that their entire community can readily access their notes, and we connect you to our recent white paper: “Improving Access to Notes on Patient Portals.” In addition, we discuss OpenNotes and patient safety with Sigall Bell, MD, Director of Patient Safety and Discovery at OpenNotes and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. As you will also see when you read on, there’s much more that we can report.
Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year from our team to yours!