An elderly woman uses a laptop at home.

Empowering patients by opening access to their notes from doctors' visits.

By opening access to doctors' notes, OpenNotes is helping patients feel more engaged and in control of their health care.

In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded an exploratory study examining what happens when patients are invited to read their doctors' notes.

Primary care doctors in Boston, rural Pennsylvania and Seattle shared visit notes with more than 19,000 patients—and the results were overwhelming. By huge margins, patients expressed feeling greater control of their care, understanding of their medical issues, and likelihood of taking medications as prescribed.  

With this evidence, OpenNotes is working to make sharing visit notes with patients a routine part of care. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Geisinger Health System have expanded their participation in the program. Milwaukee’s Columbia St. Mary’s health system and The Department of Veterans Affairs have adopted OpenNotes. Expansion plans are under way at other health systems across the country.

Series//Patients Support, Use and Benefit from Open Visit Notes



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