More than 5 million patients nationwide now have electronic access to their clinicians' visit notes through an effort that allows them to read these medical notes online after an appointment.

The use of technology to better engage patients in their own care is at the heart of OpenNotes, according to John Mafi, M.D., an internal medicine fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where outpatient notes written by clinicians in primary care and all medicine subspecialties are being shared. These notes are available on a secure website where patients can manage their healthcare online.

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