Exciting Partner News About Open Notes

Open Notes collaboration announced at White House Precision Medicine Initiative Summit

CHIME, OpenNotes Partner to Spur Patient Engagement, Support Advances in Precision Medicine

ANN ARBOR, MI — The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and OpenNotes today unveiled a unique partnership to accelerate information sharing between patients and providers. The collaboration, which will help empower patients to become advocates in their care, was announced as part the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative Summit.

“We are seeing a tremendous swing toward value-based care and consumerism in healthcare,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO, who is participating February 25 summit at the White House. “Patient engagement is a big part of that movement, but to be true partners in their care, patients must have access not only to their basic health records, but the notes that clinicians make during appointments. This partnership with OpenNotes is a terrific opportunity to promote innovative change in medical practice designed to increase patient engagement.”

The collaboration supports goals laid out in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, Branzell said. First announced during the president’s 2015 State of Union address, the Precision Medicine Initiative aims to promote new research and clinical care models built around individuals, rather than a one-size-fits all approach to treating disease. The summit was scheduled for February 25, between 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST.

Neither a software program nor a new technology, OpenNotes is an initiative that urges health systems and clinicians to offer patients easy and secure access to the medical notes that are part of their electronic health record. The goal is to improve communication and engage patients, and often their families, far more actively in their care. While there has been a proliferation in the use of electronic health records, making it easier for patients to see such things as lab results and medication history, physician notes often are not available. These notes contain important insights that can better guide patients in their care decisions.

The power of OpenNotes first came to light in a 2010 study involving 105 primary care physicians and 20,000 patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania and Harborview Medical Center, a safety net hospital in Seattle. Patients were invited to read the notes in their health record using a secure patient website. The study found that two-thirds of patients who accessed their physicians’ notes reported feeling more informed about their medical condition. Additionally, more than 85 percent of patients said that having access to notes would influence their future choice of providers.

“We’re learning that patients who read their notes feel more in control of their healthcare and are more likely to understand the treatment plan,” said Tom Delbanco, M.D., the co-founder, along with Jan Walker, R.N., MBA, of OpenNotes. Delbanco is the Koplow–Tullis Professor of General Medicine and Primary Care at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “OpenNotes represents a culture shift, and we’re hopeful that our relationship with CHIME will help us move closer to our goal of making openness the standard of care for all patients.”

Since the 2010 pilot, a rapidly growing number of health systems have adopted this striking change in practice, including the entire Department of Veterans Affairs. As leaders in their organizations, CHIME members are dedicated to using information technology to transform care delivery and strive for the Triple Aim of a better patient experience, improved population health and lower costs. Facilitating information exchange among patients and providers is essential to reaching those goals, Branzell said. CHIME will collaborate with the OpenNotes team to bring greater awareness of OpenNotes and other patient-facing technologies to CIOs and other health IT leaders and support the spread of OpenNotes across the United States.

“We started with 20,000 patients, and now more than five million patients have ready access to the notes their clinicians make in their medical records. Our goal is to expand OpenNotes to 50 million within three years,” said Homer Chin, M.D., former Associate Medical Director for Clinical Information Systems at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Affiliate Professor in Medical Informatics and Outcomes Research at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, a widely recognized health IT expert and member of the OpenNotes team. “We are continuing to explore new strategies to spread the reach of OpenNotes and improve patient engagement.”

The collaboration with OpenNotes continues CHIME’s efforts to improve information exchange across the healthcare continuum, including advancing interoperability and ensuring the accuracy of patient identification. In January, the CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust, along with HeroX, officially launched the $1 million crowdsourcing competition aimed at finding a solution to patient identification. Accurate patient identification is foundational advancing information exchange and improving patient safety, Branzell said.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,800 CIO members and more than 150 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.
About OpenNotes
OpenNotes is a national movement that invites patients, families and clinicians to come together and improve communication through shared clinicians’ notes and fully transparent medical records.  The movement is led by clinicians and researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Cambia Health Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Peterson Center on Healthcare. To learn more, visit www.opennotes.org.

Matthew Weinstock                                                                      
Kelly Lawman