Tools For Practice Tuesday: Open Notes


Open Notes has the goal to “put patients and clinicians on the same page”. “Being on the same page” is a popular term and this tool tries to achieve this…. literally. In my opinion this project also makes providers think carefully about who is the “expert” in this relationship.

Taken right from their website their goal is to…

As a healthcare professional, you may build better relationships with your patients and take better care of them when you share your visit notes.

OpenNotes is a national initiative working to give patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians.

They have mounting evidence to support that healthcare professionals giving access to doctors notes improves outcomes.

I think this may have some merit as it gives an opportunity to continue the session or visit beyond the 15, 30, 60 minute zone you have. From the therapy perspective, one could be clear about tasks, goals of sessions ,and homework associated. From the case management perspective sharing information between providers and discharge instructions could be made easier.

Would love to hear thoughts from social workers and other (mental) healthcare providers on this project. This is great example of technology changing the provider and consumer relationship. For even more info also watch this powerful video about the benefits of this…

P.S Have to thank Regina Holliday for the intro a while back.


Sean 🙂


7 thoughts on “Tools For Practice Tuesday: Open Notes

  1. epatientdave

    I was one of the guinea pigs in the original trial of OpenNotes, and I speak from experience when I say it makes all the sense in the WORLD for us to have a shared, always-available copy of the plan we agreed to! 🙂

    As just one example, late one night I thought “Oh crap – I was supposed to follow up on something. What was it??” Instead of trying to remember to call in the next day, I went online and there it was: that crusty thing on my scalp! (“Check for actinic keratosis.”) Boom: patient is more reliable at following the plan, at LESS cost to the system than if I’d called in and interrupted someone to go look it up.

    I mean, in ANY other business would we tolerate the professional NOT giving us a copy of what we said we’d do? Seriously? Yay.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. epatientdave

        Did you see that it’s being done in mental health too? At least in some cases. The discussion is interesting- it obviously creates an atmosphere of sharing views on what’s really going on.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting discussion. I think that open notes in mental health is a much more challenging and complex idea. I’ve heard mental health professionals make the case that if clients accessed their mental health record that it would compromise the care they’re receiving. I think there are some cases where access could be extremely valuable, but I think you have to be really careful about when. At least that’s what my mental health professional friends tell me.


    1. Thanks for commenting John. I think there is a case for education and even patient safety by having a more open record. I like the idea of collaborating on plans for treatment and opening the possibility for more questions.


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