The Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS) and OpenNotes, today announced a partnership to empower patients by by inviting patients to read and engage with the contents of their medical records.
“These are doctors who are extremely savvy about technology and play a leadership role in advancing the use of technology,” said Homer Chin, MD, who leads efforts to integrate health information technology further with OpenNotes. “While OpenNotes isn’t a technology itself, notes are most easily shared using existing electronic health record (EHR) platforms. This partnership allows these doctors to continue to use their knowledge to do the right thing for patients. We share the goal of getting patients, and often their families, literally ‘on the same page’ with their doctors.”
Studies consistently show that engaged patients have better outcomes.
“Our research supports those findings and suggests that OpenNotes may be a powerful way to enhance engagement,” said Jan Walker, RN, MBA, co-founder of OpenNotes and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). “Patients tell us they feel more in control of their care and are more likely to follow up on recommendations.”
The goal is to expand OpenNotes to 50 million people within three years.
What is OpenNotes?
OpenNotes is a national initiative that urges doctors and other clinicians to offer patients ready access to their visit notes.Based at Harvard Medical School and BIDMC and initially funded primarily by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, OpenNotes began in 2010 with a research and evaluation study examining the impact of offering clinician notes to patients at BIDMC, Harborview Medical Center, and Geisinger Health System.
At the end of a year, those who read their notes reported feeling more in control of their care and having better recall, knowledge, and understanding of their medical conditions. 99% of patients wanted the practice to continue, and all participating doctors chose to keep their notes open after the study ended. The results of an OpenNotes experiment involving 100 primary care doctors and 20,000 of their patients were published three years ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Since then, the OpenNotes movement has spread well beyond primary care to more than 5 million Americans.
Experience suggests that giving patients access to their clinical notes holds considerable promise for addressing the stubborn challenge of improving medication adherence. More than two-thirds of patients who took medications during the original study reported improving the way they took their medications, a finding that was further validated by researchers at Geisinger Health System in a rigorous scientific study published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The investigators showed that patients being treated for high blood pressure who were offered open notes were more likely to fill their prescriptions than those without open notes.