Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Supporting NYSHealth OpenNotes Grantees

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

October 1, 2019


Outside New York State



In Progress



True consumer empowerment begins when patients have access to the information they need to talk to their health care providers, share information, and develop a trusted relationship.

By giving patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians, OpenNotes is an important step in achieving the goal of consumers being active participants in their own care. Since 2016, NYSHealth has supported efforts to expand OpenNotes throughout the State, including at geographically dispersed hospital systems. Building upon this momentum, NYSHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), Growing OpenNotes Across New York State, to support OpenNotes in federally qualified health centers, multispecialty group practices, hospital-affiliated physician groups, independent physician practices, and other non-hospital health care settings. Through this RFP, NYSHealth is supporting six New York State organizations to participate in this initiative. In 2019, NYSHealth awarded a grant to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where the national OpenNotes program office is based, to provide technical assistance to the six organizations as they undertake their projects.

Under this grant, OpenNotes staff will provide technical assistance to help this cohort of grantees implement OpenNotes at their facilities. Specifically, OpenNotes staff will organize quarterly meetings for the grantees, focusing on the basics of implementation, best practices, and data tracking and documentation. OpenNotes staff will provide additional consultation services to grantees, based on their specific needs and questions. To improve implementation, OpenNotes staff will assist grantees in (1) developing communications strategies to encourage patients to access and read their notes, (2) making patient portals easier for patients to find and open their notes, and (3) measuring the rate of notes viewed by patients. Additionally, best practices will be shared with grantees on incorporating mental health and adolescent health information into shared notes for patients. Finally, OpenNotes staff will synthesize lessons learned from this project to create recommendations and best practices for implementing OpenNotes at other non-hospital health care settings in New York State and nationally.