Foundations offer $10 million toward OpenNotes expansion

A $10 million infusion of new funding is aimed at expanding the OpenNotes program to 50 million patients nationwide, according to an announcement.

Cambia Health Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are backing the project to better engage patients in their own health by giving them real-time access to their doctors' clinical notes.

Patients involved in research on the concept say they feel more in control of their care and are more likely to follow doctors' recommendations, and doctors report that having a second set of eyes on the notes can be important to improving patient safety, according to the announcement.

The OpenNotes study began in 2010 when more than 100 primary care doctors at three hospitals opened their notes to 20,000 patients. It since has grown to cover 5 million patients nationwide.

A study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety recently reviewed five years of experience with OpenNotes in which patients said the notes helped them to remember to take their medicine and return for follow-up visits. Previous research had found patients concerned about their privacy, but not dissuaded from accessing the notes.

In addition, last January the initiative announced it would use a $450,000 grant from the Commonwealth Fund for a project called OurNotes to enable patients to contribute to their own medical data.

Next week, FierceHealthIT will publish exclusive interviews with leaders at Columbia St. Mary's and UCLA Health about their experiences with the OpenNotes program. 

To learn more:
- here's the announcement