Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Care for the Homeless Pilot Project Implementing 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 Care for the Homeless (CFH) grant to participate in this initiative.

Under this grant, CFH implemented OpenNotes at six of its FQHC sites to provide patients with access to their clinic notes. CFH is the only FQHC system in New York City that exclusively serves homeless New Yorkers. CFH installed onsite iPad kiosks at each of its health centers, making it easier for homeless patients to participate in and manage their health care. Outreach specialists conducted intensive engagement at each site to educate shelter residents on how to access their health information. CFH also engaged consultants to assist with data tracking and provider training. Finally, it worked with its Patient and Family Advisory Council on strategies to better engage patients in accessing their notes.

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