Spreading Open Notes in the Bronx
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 is supporting hospitals across the State in implementing OpenNotes at their facilities. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded St. Barnabas Hospital (SBH) a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, SBH implemented OpenNotes across its system to complement its efforts to deliver transformative patient-centered care and increase patient engagement. A nonprofit and safety-net health care provider in the Bronx, SBH primarily serves low-income, minority, and underserved communities. Its ambulatory care center offers pediatric care and adult primary and specialty care. Through this grant, SBH also deployed a Patient Engagement Interns program in its ambulatory clinics to conduct direct, one-on-one engagement with patients to promote and facilitate their use of OpenNotes. SBH also embedded OpenNotes training and education into its physician orientation and, given its role as a teaching hospital, incorporated the use of OpenNotes in its graduate medical education training curriculum.