OpenNotes & Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care launch initiative to support nation’s care partners through health information technology
Millions of Americans manage their health with the involvement of family, friends, and other informal care partners (caregivers) who are often not well-integrated with the “formal” health care delivery system. A growing body of research published by the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care (Lipitz Center) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center finds that working with and providing resources for care partners has a profound effect on the quality of care and uptake in using health care services. However, resources for care partners are not often supported in care delivery.
“Very few care partners report being asked by clinicians and other health care workers about their need for help in managing the care,” said Cait DesRoches, DrPH, executive director of OpenNotes, and an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
In response to growing need for health IT resources for care partners, OpenNotes and the Lipitz Center launched the Coalition for Care Partners—an effort to build knowledge and tools directed at strengthening health system capacity to systematically identify, engage, and support care partners in care delivery.
Led by Jennifer Wolff, PhD (Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and DesRoches, the Coalition for Care Partners released an issue brief highlighting original research and activities which feature existing patient portal functionalities, and the developing, testing, and scaling of new consumer-oriented technologies to effectively engage care partners.
“At a most basic level, health care workers should be asking care partners about their capacity and knowledge—this information is necessary and appropriate when the care partner is essential to coordinating or enacting a patient’s care plan,” said Wolff.
To learn more about the Coalition for Care Partners, and to view a full list of project partners, visit coalitionforcarepartners.org.
The Coalition for Care Partners is supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, Cambia Health Foundation, and the National Institute on Aging.