1. Be confident
Surveys consistently show that patients want to read their notes, and they’re rarely worried or confused by them. Research also suggests that the vast majority of patients feel the same or better about their care professional after reading notes.
2. Modify how you write notes
Many health care professionals tell us it’s easy to make their notes more patient friendly without “dumbing them down.” Start by eliminating abbreviations and acronyms to make the notes a more effective tool for your patients. This paper offers more suggestions.
6. Advertise open notes and encourage patients to register for the portal
The experience of health care professionals who’ve implemented open notes suggests that when patients know about the availability of open notes, they are more motivated to register for the patient portal, and that once on the portal, they are both easier to care for, and more likely to stay with a practice. In a growing number of practices, patients access notes more frequently than any other part of their record.
8. Send reminders
This is new practice for both patients and professionals. Reminders make a big difference if you want to encourage your patients to read their notes.
9. Share the evidence
The Implementation toolkit has links to study results, health professional and patient videos, and other resources that can be helpful in generating support.
Champion open notes in your practice or health system.
The Implementation toolkit has materials that outline how to:
• make the case for open notes;
• communicate with staff and patients as you prepare to adopt open notes;
• get more out of your EHR; and
• write notes that will improve the patient experience.
Please send us a message if you need more information or help, or you have an experience you’d like to share.