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On March 1, Johns Hopkins Medicine initiated “open notes” — the sharing of clinicians’ notes online with patients. Patients are now able to read these notes in MyChart, our secure, confidential patient portal.
Sharing notes with patients through OpenNotes is a practice that has been studied and is now available in more than 50 health care systems across the United States.
Participating Johns Hopkins Medicine Organizations
Most ambulatory and hospital outpatient department (HOD) practices throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine are participating in OpenNotes, with the exception of mental health, gynecology/obstetrics and general pediatrics including adolescent medicine. Inpatient and emergency department documentation and operative notes are not included at this time.
Why We Are Sharing Our Notes
We feel that allowing patients greater access to their medical records embraces our key priority to provide patient- and family-centered care, and quite simply, it is the right thing to do. Research on the sharing of patient notes at three diverse institutions, and in subsequent surveys at Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, has shown that patients overwhelmingly support OpenNotes and report important clinical benefits, including:
- better understanding of their health and medical conditions
- improved recall of their care plan
- feeling more in control of their care
- taking better care of themselves
- doing better at taking their medications as prescribed
Many patients reported they would choose a doctor or health care system based on the availability of OpenNotes.
As OpenNotes has been implemented across health systems, doctors have reported little, if any, burden on themselves, no significant impacts on work flow and very few patient-reported concerns. More recent research reported in BMJ Quality & Safety found that 99 percent of patients felt the same or better about their doctors after reading notes, and more than 50 percent of doctors felt that patient satisfaction and trust improved with note reading.
Based on the positive results at many other institutions, we believe that making OpenNotes a routine part of care is the right thing to do for our patients.
- “OpenNotes to Be Turned on for Most Ambulatory Specialties,” BestPractice, Dec. 8, 2017
- “Open Notes and Your Patient,” BestPractice, Aug. 24, 2017
- “Open Notes: Bonus or Burden?” BestPractice, Sept. 1, 2016