On March 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule to support the improved exchange and use of electronic health information. The proposed rule places a strong focus on patients’ ability to access their health information and proposes that clinical notes be included in an expanded set of data that must be exchanged electronically and made easily accessible to patients. We recently met with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to discuss our support for the proposed rule. We applaud CMS for promoting patient ease of access and greater transparency for medical records and offer recommendations for ensuring that this new access is implemented in a way that encourages patients to read their notes and helps to embed transparency firmly into the culture of medicine. Read the recommendations from OpenNotes here.
Also in this newsletter – an interview with our own Homer Chin, MD, MS, who has long seen the benefits of digitizing medical records for patients and clinicians. And, we introduce you to Betsy Lowe, a mother of three, who actively uses shared visit notes to manage her children’s health.
Finally, we want to draw your attention to a new funding opportunity offered by the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) aimed at fostering the spread of OpenNotes among Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in that state. On the lighter side, we share social media GIFs you can download for free and use in messaging to support OpenNotes.