Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Supporting NYHealth OpenNotes Grantees, Phase 3

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

April 4, 2022


Outside New York State






Shared visit notes, often referred to as open notes, are an important way to help consumers become active participants in their own care.

Established in 2010, OpenNotes is a national effort to give patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians. Shared visit notes can help patients and families remember and act on information discussed during a visit, including treatment plans, medication, and care coordination. NYHealth has long supported the spread of open notes throughout New York State, including at 10 hospital systems and 6 federally qualified health centers and other non-hospital settings across the State. NYHealth has also awarded Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where the national OpenNotes program office is based, grants in 2019 and 2021 to help NYHealth grantees implement their open notes projects. Building upon this momentum, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in 2021 to support hospital facilities in New York State in sharing open notes in compliance with new federal rules and in going beyond compliance to use open notes to more meaningfully engage patients. Through this RFP, NYHealth is funding 16 New York hospitals to participate in this initiative. In 2022, NYHealth awarded a grant to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to support these 16 hospitals as they undertake their projects.

Under this grant, OpenNotes leadership at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center provided technical assistance to help this cohort of grantees implement and expand open notes at their hospitals. Specifically, OpenNotes staff led a 12-month technical assistance and learning network, which included monthly group sessions and access to individual support from the OpenNotes team. Hospitals learned from experts and each other, focusing on strategies to ensure that (1) providers were equipped with the tools to make note-sharing easy and useful; and (2) patients knew how to access and use their visit notes productively. The learning collaborative covered a range of topics, including understanding the new federal mandate; sustaining clinician engagement; adopting effective communication strategies to introduce open notes to both providers and patients; and sharing notes in the context of adolescent, pediatric, inpatient, and behavioral health settings, among other areas.