Be an advocate for change! One of the most important things you can do is ask for your notes and invite others to do the same. Together we can make open access to health information the standard of care for all patients!
1. Ask for your notes!
Write a letter, make a phone call, post a comment on your health system’s Facebook page. Let them know you want to access your medical record, including your visit notes, on the patient portal. (Note: Whether on paper or online, health systems are required to provide a copy of your records within 30 days of your request.)
Dear name of your doctor, nurse, or other health care professional,
I’m writing to ask for online access to my full medical record, including the VISIT notes you write about our conversation after an appointment. I believe that having access to my notes will help me understand my health and health care better and help me partner with you in managing my health.
(Feel free to personalize your note. To get you started, here’s a list of some reasons patients want access to their notes.)
- I don’t always remember everything we discussed or the things I’m supposed to do between visits, and I think revisiting my notes will help.
- I think reading my notes will help me take better care of myself.
- I want to have a full account of all parts of my medical life.
- I want to make sure I’m on the same page with you for all aspects of my care.
- I would like to share my notes with someone who helps me manage my care.
There’s a lot more information on the subject, including research, at
Not sure what OpenNotes is?
Check out this video.
Looking for more inspiration?
Listen to these patients.
10 Things Patients Can Do
2. Spread the word!
Encourage your family, friends, and community to learn about OpenNotes and get involved. Here are some posts you can share on your Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social channel you use.
3. Add a link to the OpenNotes movement on your website or blog!
Help others learn more about the importance of becoming empowered in their own health.
4. Share your thoughts, opinions, strategies, successes, and frustrations here, and we’ll learn from each other.
Connect with others to share ideas, start an email campaign, or organize a meeting to talk with your health system leadership about adopting OpenNotes.
Featured opennotes.org post
Dear EVERYONE who makes decisions about what I can and cannot see in my online patient portal, YOU have the power to help ensure your patient’s decisions are well-informed. After living with brain cancer for over eight years, my health insurance changed just a few months ago. I submitted a records request to my old health […]