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OpenNotes and AMDIS Partner to Advance Medical Record Transparency

June 22, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS) and OpenNotes have announced a partnership to advance transparency in health care and enhance patient and clinician communication by inviting patients to read and engage with the contents of their medical records.

"Our partnership with OpenNotes is an opportunity for us to support the AMDIS mission of improving health care through the use of information technology, by empowering patients with their own health information," William Bria, M.D., chairman of the board of AMDIS, said in a statement.

"These are doctors who are extremely savvy about technology and play a leadership role in advancing the use of technology," Homer Chin, M.D., who leads efforts to integrate health information technology further with OpenNotes, said in a prepared statement. “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."

The goal is to expand OpenNotes to 50 million people within three years.

Jan Walker, R.N., co-founder of OpenNotes and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), says her team’s research supports findings that engaged patients have better outcomes, and suggests that OpenNotes may be a powerful way to enhance engagement. “Patients tell us they feel more in control of their care and are more likely to follow up on recommendations,” Walker said.

John Mattison, M.D., chief medical information officer, Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, said in a statement, “In our system, we now have more than 600 doctors sharing notes with more than 1.2 million patient encounters, and that number is growing exponentially. We expect all 8,000 doctors to be using OpenNotes by the end of 2017.”

In 2010 BIDMC, Harborview Medical Center, and Geisinger Health System launched a research and evaluation study examining the impact of inviting patients to read clinician notes using secure, online patient portals. At the end of a year, patients who read their notes, reported feeling more in control of their care and having better recall, knowledge, and understanding of their medical conditions. In addition, 85 percent of patients said that access to their notes would positively influence their choice of health care providers. The study began with 20,000 patients. And the number of patients who now have ready access to their EHR notes has expanded to more than eight million nationwide.

 

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