Adoption and Optimization of OpenNotes
Empowering Health Care Consumers
October 9, 2017
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.
OpenNotes is a national movement that spurs real patient engagement by giving patients and their caregivers access to the clinical notes written by health care providers. When patients have such access, they can develop stronger relationships with their providers; initiate conversations about or co-develop their care plan; develop a sense of ownership over their health information and treatment decisions; better remember what was discussed during a visit; become patient-safety partners by identifying errors in their records; and take medications as prescribed. To foster the spread of OpenNotes to more New York State hospitals and patients, NYSHealth issued a request for proposals, Spreading OpenNotes in New York State. Through this initiative, NYSHealth supported hospitals across the State in implementing OpenNotes at their facilities. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Northwell Health a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, Northwell Health expanded OpenNotes to 300 practice sites, which account for more than 90% of its providers across the Northwell Health Physician Partners’ network. It is the largest clinically integrated health care network in New York State, with 22 hospitals and more than 450 ambulatory physician practices. Northwell Health employed portal navigators to spread the word about the value of OpenNotes and facilitate its adoption and use by training both clinical staff and patients. Northwell Health also worked closely with clinical leadership, used physician champions, and conducted robust outreach activities with its providers.