Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Implementing Open Notes at BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

April 26, 2023





In Progress



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

When patients have access to their own visit notes written by health care providers, they better remember and act on information discussed during visits, improve communication with their health care team, and better manage their health. The 21st Century Cures Act, a recent federal mandate, requires health care providers to make clinical notes available to patients electronically and at no charge. However, the level of compliance and, most importantly, the proactive use of open notes to improve care vary among health systems. In 2022, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), “From Good to Great: Improving Access to and Use of Patient Visit Notes in Non-Hospital Systems,” to support non-hospital systems across New York State in sharing open notes in compliance with recent federal rules and using open notes to more meaningfully engage patients. In 2023, NYHealth awarded BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers a grant to participate in this initiative.

BMS is a federally qualified health center in Brownsville and East New York providing comprehensive primary care, specialty care, and health-related support services to approximately 18,000 patients annually through 9 clinical and non-clinical sites, a school-based health center, a residential substance use disorder treatment facility, and a wellness center. Under this grant, BMS will continue to implement and improve the use of shared notes within its system and participate in a technical assistance and peer-learning network. It will enhance the sharing and usability of notes through provider training and a notes audit. It will engage a patient navigator to lead patient education, outreach, and navigation efforts to increase use of shared notes. BMS will also seek patient feedback on these patient engagement and provider training efforts.

See a full list of grantees participating in this initiative.