"If anyone can testify to the power of the OpenNotes phenomenon, it is Alistair Erskine, M.D., the chief strategic information officer at the Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, and one of the first three patient care organizations to take the OpenNotes concept, as conceived by Tom Delbanco and Jan Walker, and implement it in their health systems (the other two being Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston). Erskine and his colleagues went live with OpenNotes in 2012. And, not surprisingly, he recalls that, “Before we went live, providers were more concerned than patients. Will it take longer? Will it require more messaging? Will doctors spend more time editing their notes, knowing the patient will read it? Will the doctor be more candid? How will the notes change around how we talk about cancer, or mental health, or obesity and weight loss? Will we be as efficient or more efficient? And will the notes improve patient education? Those were some of the questions we asked beforehand, and asked again after implementation,” he says. But once OpenNotes had gone live, all of those concerns evaporated virtually instantly, he reports."

Excerpted from Healthcare Informatics. Read the full article at: www.healthcare-informatics.com

For the past four years, patient engagement has been healthcare's pot of gold under the rainbow — a wonderful concept that many doubted could exist. 

It is encouraging to see real traction with OpenNotes, which gives patients access to the notes their physician records about their condition and their care. This openness, users have found, has created a much more collaborative patient-provider relationship that keeps patients in the know, rather than waiting and wishing they had more info about their care.

Is your organization considering using OpenNotes? If so, we'd love to hear about your implementation process and the changes your caregivers and patients experience with this more collaborative approach to care. 

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