AMIA, OpenNotes to take steps to push records access

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Informaticists represented by the American Medical Informatics Association have teamed with OpenNotes, an initiative that encourages clinicians to share visit notes with patients in person or via portals, to promote patient engagement in managing their own care.

OpenNotes is a Boston-based not-for-profit international movement dedicated to making healthcare more open and transparent by urging doctors, nurses, therapists and others to share their visit notes with patients.

Nearly 20 million people in the U.S. have access to their providers’ notes, and at least 20 more health systems have announced plans to join the OpenNotes movement this year.

AMIA and members of OpenNotes have collaborated for several years, but recently formalized the relationship, says Thomas Payne, MD, AMIA board chair and medical director of IT services at UW Medicine at the University of Washington.

“We agreed to communicate so both sides are aware of the activities of the other and to jointly make others aware of our objectives,” Payne says.

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The agreement does not include the exchange of funds or establishing a joint office. AMIA members have been working on improving OpenNotes for several years, and the agreement enables the organizations to work closer and be more formal in communications.

Under the alliance, the organizations expect to issue reports and guidance about use of Open Notes, but they also will start thinking about a next-generation version, Payne adds.

“There is a lot of discussion about what is beyond OpenNotes. We believe that people should have access to their entire medical record, so this is a great place to start because Open Notes is a story of the patient.”

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