OpenNotes Now: How the Movement Will Change the Physician-Patient Relationship

Mark Hagland | Healthcare Informatics | July 18, 2016

Every movement needs an early, visionary leader, and the OpenNotes movement has been no exception—it’s got Tom Delbanco, M.D. Delbanco, who practiced as an internal medicine physician for 40 years, several years ago joined together with Jan Walker, R.N. to initiate a movement that is now sweeping the country and changing healthcare—and creating numerous implications for healthcare IT leaders in its wake.

And, with more than 7 million patients who already have access to their doctors’ notes in their electronic health records (EHRs), it is worthwhile to go back and look at a moment several years ago that Delbanco cites as being a moment of epiphany for him, and that helped to ignite a movement that is changing how physicians and patients are interacting across the U.S., with major implications for healthcare IT leaders.

In fact, the anecdote that Delbanco shares is a strikingly personal one. He begins by saying that “There’s no question that when I went to medical school—and I had a good Jewish mother—that my mother thought I would be a god, and would tell people what to do. I don’t think the modern doctor thinks in quite those terms, though perhaps some do more so than people would admit,” he says. “But here is the epiphany I had, as a general internist, who had started the division of primary care at Beth Israel” Medical Center...