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Mount Sinai Health Joins OpenNotes

April 19, 2016
by David Raths
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Initiative’s goal is to expand to 50 million patients within three years

Mount Sinai Health System in New York has joined the OpenNotes movement, which allows patients electronic access to their provider’s notes in their medical records. The OpenNotes initiative, which started with 20,000 patients in 2010, now includes more than 5 million patients. Its goal is to expand to 50 million patients within three years.

Patients at Mount Sinai’s East 102nd Street and East 85th Street Primary Care Associates of the Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice offices are participating. Portal users can now read details of their office visit from their personal computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Four Mount Sinai physicians in various clinical practices conducted the initial OpenNotes pilot beginning in December 2015. Patients who participated in this effort reported satisfaction with their ability to access more in depth medical records and reported feeling more connected and involved in their healthcare. Patients noted the information provided a better timeline of care, history of treatments, and thorough explanation of office visits.

"Patients expect and deserve to have full access to their medical records and the Mount Sinai Health System is committed to meeting this expectation," said Jeremy Boal, M.D., chief medical officer of Mount Sinai Health System, in a prepared statement.

 In February, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and OpenNotes announced a partnership to accelerate information sharing between patients and providers. 

In addition, OpenNotes has added three key national healthcare leaders.  John Santa, M.D., M.P.H., director of dissemination for OpenNotes, previously was medical director for the Drug Effectiveness Review Project, one of the country’s most robust comparative effectiveness programs, as well as the director of the Health Ratings Center at Consumer Reports from 2008 to 2014. 

Homer Chin, M.D., M.S., is leading efforts to integrate health information technology further with OpenNotes. He is an affiliate professor in the Department of Medical Informatics and Outcomes Research at the Oregon Health and Science University and a member of the board of OCHIN, a not-for-profit organization that provides information and management services to safety-net clinics in support of the medically underserved. Chin was previously the Associate Medical Director for Medical Informatics at Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

Amy Fellows, M.P.H., joined OpenNotes to focus on community health programs, with particular attention to individuals who are medically underserved. She is the executive director of We Can Do Better, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for education and engagement, bringing people together who share the values of better health care and health for all.