AMIA, OpenNotes partner on patient engagement

Informatics group aims to make patients' online access to physicians' clinical notes the standard of care.
By Mike Miliard
03:15 PM
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The American Medical Informatics Association and OpenNotes will collaborate to expand the access and control that patients and families have over their own health data. 

OpenNotes, which co-director Tom Delbanco, MD, described as a movement rather than a software program, started in 2010 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The movement has since expanded to more than 20 hospitals and enabled nearly 20 million patients to see what their doctors wrote about them in the EHR. 

[Also: eClinicalWorks signs on with OpenNotes]

AMIA and OpenNotes described the partnership, announced at AMIA's 2017 Annual Symposium, as a collaboration that seeks to enlist more hospitals and doctors to empower even greater numbers of patients with “access to, and control of, their personal health information.” 

"It is clear this is the direction the industry should be heading," said AMIA President and CEO Douglas Fridsma, MD. OpenNotes Executive Director Catherine DesRoches added that making health records more transparent can be “a remarkably powerful way to effect change."

Many AMIA members, in fact, already take part in OpenNotes, and officials said the informatics community is essential to the continued expansion of this effort.

"Providing patients access to their physician's notes improves communication and trust, patient safety, and perhaps even patient outcomes," said Thomas Payne, MD, AMIA board chair and medical director of IT Services at the University of Washington's UW Medicine. 

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com