OpenNotes receives $10M in expansion grants

OpenNotes, a national initiative to make physician and clinician notes accessible for patients, has received a total of $10 million in expansion grants from the Cambria Health Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The platform began in 2010 with initial funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2012, the results of an OpenNotes experiment involving 100 primary care physicians and 20,000 of their patients were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Patients who used the platform at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. reported better recall and knowledge, felt more in control of their care and better understood their medical conditions.

Nearly 100 percent of patients wanted the practice to continue and all physicians involved in the study chose to continue keeping their notes open after the conclusion of the study. The OpenNotes movement has since spread to more than 5 million patients in the U.S.

"Our research shows increasingly that patients can benefit greatly from reading the notes taken during a medical visit. They tell us they feel more in control of their care and are more likely to follow up on recommendations," Jan Walker, RN, co-founder of OpenNotes and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston and BIDMC. "This has enormous implications for improving the quality and costs of care. Moreover, we're learning that having a second set of eyes on the record may be an important way to improve patient safety."

Over the next three years, the combined funding will be dedicated to helping more providers adopt the OpenNotes platform and evaluating the impact of OpenNotes on health outcomes and costs.

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