As of this month more than 25 million people are able to access clinical notes through their secure, online patient portals at over 120 health systems throughout North America. A considerable number of health systems launching OpenNotes in 2018 are located in the Golden State, with 10 of the 11 newly launched California health systems located in Southern California alone.
According to the OpenNotes research dissemination team—which tracks and confirms organizations sharing clinical notes—of the health systems that began sharing notes in 2018 four are located in Los Angeles County (Cedars-Sinai Health System, Clinica Oscar Romero, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and UCLA Health), while five are in the San Diego area (Bastyr University, Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps Health, Sanford Health System, and UC San Diego Health). Kaiser Permanente began sharing notes a few weeks ago across all Southern California regions (Antelope Valley, Baldwin Park, Downey, Kern County, Los Angeles, Orange County, Panorama City, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego, South Bay, Ventura County, West Los Angeles, and Woodland Hills).
Stanford Children’s Health—a pediatric and obstetric health system in Palo Alto—is the only new OpenNotes implementer not based in the southern part of the state.
The increased momentum around OpenNotes in California could be due to recent inspiration from Boston. OpenNotes co-founder Tom Delbanco, MD, presented grand rounds at UC San Diego School of Medicine on February 28, 2018. The invitation was part of the health system’s strategy for “socializing” OpenNotes among physicians and other advanced practice clinicians. UC San Diego Health launched OpenNotes on May 29, 2018.
In total, 19 organizations have officially opened their notes to patients in California. They are on the OpenNotes map. Before 2018, OpenNotes was live at Adventist Health, Banner Health, MemorialCare Health Systems, Monterey County Health Services, Providence Health and Services, Stanford Health Care, Sutter Health Medical Foundation (Sacramento), and at the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
Here are some interesting facts about new OpenNotes implementers in California:
- Los Angeles County Department of Health Services is the largest public health system to start sharing clinical notes with patients. LA County first started sharing inpatient and outpatient specialty care notes and recently added primary care notes. Read an interview with Anshu Abhat, MD, about the launch in LA County.
- Clinica Oscar Romero is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with two clinics serving a primarily Spanish-speaking population in Los Angeles.
- Rady Children’s Hospital and Stanford Children’s Hospital are ranked as two of the best children’s hospitals in the country. In addition to sharing younger children’s pediatric notes, Rady Children’s also shares notes with adolescents.
- Bastyr University in San Diego is known for its naturopathic medicine program.
- UCLA and UC San Diego are first among the University of California Health Systems to begin sharing notes. Other health systems in the network include UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and UC San Francisco. Read the announcement about OpenNotes at UC San Diego Health.
By the end of 2018 we anticipate close to 40 million patients will have easy access to their notes.