Empowering Health Care Consumers
April 26, 2023
In 2023, NYHealth selected 14 non-hospital systems from across the State for grants totaling nearly $800,000 to support them in sharing open notes effectively with patients.
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.
NYHealth has long supported the spread of open notes throughout New York State. Most recently, in response to the note-sharing mandate, NYHealth supported a cohort of 16 hospitals to go from good to great in their note-sharing and associated patient engagement.
In parallel, 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 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), physician practices, and other non-hospital systems across New York State in similarly deepening their efforts to share visit notes with patients. This initiative is designed to help non-hospital systems—key providers of primary care and other services for marginalized communities—comply with the recent federal rules and use open notes to engage patients more meaningfully. The program lies at the intersection of NYHealth’s former Empowering Health Care Consumers priority area and its new Primary Care priority area.
NYHealth, in partnership with the OpenNotes national program office, is providing the 14 non-hospital systems selected through this RFP with funding, technical assistance, and peer-learning opportunities to share open notes with patients effectively.
The systems selected for awards and participation in technical assistance represent nearly all regions of the State and various types of primary care providers. These systems serve marginalized patient populations, including people of color, people with low income, immigrants and refugees, non-English speakers, LGBTQ youth, homebound older adults, individuals experiencing homelessness, and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Grant recipients are:
- Advantage Care Health Centers
- Anthony L. Jordan Health Center
- BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers (Brownsville Community Development Corporation)
- Doctors United
- Jericho Road Community Health Center
- La Casa de Salud
- Mosaic Health
- Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation
- Saratoga Community Health Center
- St. John’s Medical Group (Episcopal Health Services)
- Syracuse Community Health
- The Door – A Center of Alternatives
- Union Community Health Center
- VIP Community Services
NYHealth also awarded a grant to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where the national OpenNotes program office is based, to provide technical assistance to the 14 systems as they undertake their projects.