As patient engagement is rapidly evolving, open notes plays a pivotal role for interactions between doctors and patients alike.


Regardless of whether you are a patient or healthcare professional, there are benefits gleaned by using open notes.

Healthcare Professionals

You can develop deeper relationships with your patients and build a greater level of trust.  Open Notes allows you to take better care of them by sharing visit notes and getting their input. (to address mistakes or misunderstandings as well as adding information that the patient may have forgotten to impart at the time of the examination and visit).


Having the opportunity to read your EHR notes and discuss them with your doctor or healthcare provider, enables you to take better control of your health care.  By correcting any mistakes, you can be assured that decisions based on the notes for diagnoses and treatment options will be of improved value.

Yesterday we discussed the new grant given for OurNotes to Boston Deaconess and 4 other health facilities to empower patients to add information to their electronic health records.

“Open notes create partnerships toward better health and health care by giving everyone on the medical team, including the patient, access to the same information”

                             – Tom Delbanco, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Perhaps due to the lack of press releases and mass spread, what many don’t know is that OurNotes is not the first foray into patient engagement with EHRs. held an OpenNotes study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where patients were able to read unedited notes from their doctor’s visits. Contrary to the fear of patients reacting with anxiety over doctor entries, the program worked quite well.  Not only were patients receptive to the idea, 85% of patients actually commented that access to their EHR notes will be a determining factor in choosing their healthcare provider in the future.

Allowing patients access to their notes will:

  • Enhance communication
  • Promote treatment compliance
  • Improve communication
  • Create more effective care with improved treatment options and results
  • Encourages patient’s active involvement with their health and health care.

This can only improve care as time goes on.

What are your views on this issue?  Share your opinion in the comment box below.