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CHIME Announces Support for OpenNotes Movement

February 25, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has announced a partnership with the OpenNotes team to bring greater awareness of the note-sharing movement and other patient-facing technologies to CIOs and other health IT leaders.

The collaboration, which will help empower patients to become advocates in their care, was announced as part the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative Summit. OpenNotes is an initiative that urges health systems and clinicians to offer patients easy and secure access to the medical notes that are part of their electronic health record. The goal is to improve communication and engage patients, and often their families, far more actively in their care.

The power of OpenNotes first came to light in a 2010 study involving 105 primary care physicians and 20,000 patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania and Harborview Medical Center, a safety net hospital in Seattle. Patients were invited to read the notes in their health record using a secure patient website. The study found that two-thirds of patients who accessed their physicians’ notes reported feeling more informed about their medical condition. Additionally, more than 85 percent of patients said that having access to notes would influence their future choice of providers.

Since the 2010 pilot, a rapidly growing number of health systems have adopted this change in practice, including the entire Department of Veterans Affairs. Now, CHIME will collaborate with the OpenNotes team to bring greater awareness of OpenNotes and other patient-facing technologies to CIOs and other health IT leaders and support the spread of OpenNotes across the U.S. In January, the CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust, along with HeroX, officially launched the $1 million crowdsourcing competition aimed at finding a solution to patient identification.

“We are seeing a tremendous swing toward value-based care and consumerism in healthcare,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell, who is participating Feb. 25 summit at the White House. “Patient engagement is a big part of that movement, but to be true partners in their care, patients must have access not only to their basic health records, but the notes that clinicians make during appointments. This partnership with OpenNotes is a terrific opportunity to promote innovative change in medical practice designed to increase patient engagement.”

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