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NYSHealth awards OpenNotes grant to NFMMC

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Fri, Oct 13th 2017 06:10 pm
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has been named one of seven hospitals statewide to be awarded a New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) grant to implement OpenNotes, a national movement that gives patients and their caregivers access to the clinical notes written by health care providers.
Under the grant, Memorial will build active partnerships between providers and patients by implementing OpenNotes in its acute care and behavioral health inpatient units, primary care centers, the Niagara Wellness Connection Center and ER1 emergency department to provide more than 13,000 patients with access to their clinical notes.
"Empowered patients participate actively in their own care, and that requires easy and complete access to their own visit notes. OpenNotes literally and figuratively puts patients and their providers on the same page to improve the care experience and outcomes," said David Sandman, Ph.D., president and CEO of NYSHealth.
"While millions of Americans have access to their notes, the adoption of OpenNotes has been slow to take hold in New York state. Led by these innovative hospital systems, OpenNotes should become a standard of care across the state," he added.
Memorial's project is unique in that it will implement OpenNotes in a behavioral health service setting, serving a vulnerable population of primary care and outpatient mental health patients, said Sheila K. Kee, the medical center's chief operating officer.
"Memorial will use a variety of approaches to tailor OpenNotes in a way that will ensure our most vulnerable patients, including those who may lack internet access, have access to their clinical notes using smart phones and OpenNotes kiosks," Kee said. "We will share the lessons learned through that process with other hospitals, behavioral health organizations, primary care groups, physician residency programs, service agencies and community-based organizations."
NYSHealth is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers. Through its Empowering Health Care Consumers priority area, NYSHealth is focused on engaging patients as partners in health care decision-making and promoting information transparency.
"As the first in the country to support OpenNotes at the state level, NYSHealth sets the bar in its commitment to transparency in health care," said Catherine M. DesRoches, Dr.P.H., executive director of OpenNotes. "We look forward to supporting and learning from the grantees as they implement OpenNotes."

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