Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

BronxCare Health System OpenNotes

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

October 1, 2019








True consumer empowerment begins when patients have access to the information they need to talk to their health care providers, share information, and develop a trusted relationship.

By giving patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians, OpenNotes is an important step in achieving the goal of consumers being active participants in their own care. Since 2016, NYHealth has supported efforts to expand OpenNotes throughout the State, including at geographically dispersed hospital systems. Building upon this momentum, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), Growing OpenNotes Across New York State, to support OpenNotes in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), multispecialty group practices, hospital-affiliated physician groups, independent physician practices, and other non-hospital health care settings. Through this RFP, NYHealth aims to spread OpenNotes to all settings in which patients receive care, especially in underserved communities. In 2019, NYHealth awarded BronxCare Health Integrated Services System Inc. (BLISS Inc.) a grant to participate in this initiative.

Under this grant, BLISS Inc., an FQHC system serving the South and Central Bronx, implemented OpenNotes at its Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center site. BLISS Inc. primarily serves low-income, minority, and underserved patients. In the first year of this project, notes were shared with patients receiving primary care, nutrition planning, and pharmacy services. In the project’s second year, shared notes were expanded to include patient visits with specialists. BLISS Inc. also engaged and empowered patients by using a bilingual navigator to translate notes for Spanish speakers and assist them in using OpenNotes.

See a full list of grantees working to grow OpenNotes in non-hospital settings across New York State.