COVID-19 and Open Notes: A New Method to Enhance Patient Safety and Trust

JMIR Ment Health. 2021 Jun 21;8(6):e29314. doi: 10.2196/29314.


From April 5, 2021, as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, all providers in the United States must offer patients access to the medical information housed in their electronic records. Via secure health portals, patients can log in to access lab and test results, lists of prescribed medications, referral appointments, and the narrative reports written by clinicians (so-called open notes). As US providers implement this practice innovation, we describe six promising ways in which patients' access to their notes might help address problems that either emerged with or were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; electronic health records; patient portals; patient safety; patient-centered care.