by Cait DesRoches, DrPH
Right now, nearly 26 million patients have access to their visit notes nationwide. As we continue to grow we increasingly hear health systems leaders ask, “How do we do OpenNotes well?”
Our goal is not just to encourage health systems to “turn on” access to visit notes, but to do it in a way that delivers the greatest benefit to both clinicians and patients.
As we gather information from health systems across the country, some important principles have begun to emerge.
- First, patient education is necessary for robust implementation. Many patients don’t know that clinicians write notes or that they may benefit from reading them.
- Second, notes can be hard to find in most patient portals. You may need to change your portal navigation to make finding notes as easy and intuitive as possible.
- Third, talking with clinicians and leaders at other health systems is a valuable way to learn how to maximize the benefits of OpenNotes to patients and clinicians.
Finally, you can count on us as a resource. We continually update our Implementation and Communication toolkits as we better understand best practices. Bookmark these pages on our website, visit often, and don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.