Open Notes in Telehealth and In-Home Primary Care
Empowering Health Care Consumers
April 26, 2023
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 Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation a grant to participate in this initiative.
Parker Jewish Institute is a health care and rehabilitation center and skilled nursing facility for older adults providing inpatient programs, community health services, and medical house call services across New York City and Long Island. Under this grant, Parker Jewish Institute will continue to implement and improve the use of shared notes within its system, particularly its medical house call program, and participate in a technical assistance and peer-learning network. It will enhance the sharing and usability of notes through provider and patient education, with a focus on improving note-sharing for its patient population of homebound older adults. It will also upgrade its patient portal to facilitate easier note-sharing and seek patient feedback.