In 2010, 100 primary care physicians affiliated with three health systems agreed to explore the impact of sharing clinical notes with patients in a project dubbed OpenNotes. The total panel for the initial trial was 20,000 patients from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The results were promising, and the OpenNotes project expanded beyond the original three to many other health systems. Today nearly five million patients across the country can access their clinical notes through patient portals.
“OpenNotes is really the simple act of opening up the notes to patients,” says Melissa Anselmo, National OpenNotes Program Director in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It’s really this idea, this movement towards using transparency and some opportunities with health IT to foster greater patient engagement in the health system.”
Study Measured Patient and Provider Attitudes
The purpose of the 2010 study was to gain insight into these questions:
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