Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2018 Sep 1;25(9):1153-1159. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocy083.

OpenNotes and shared decision making: a growing practice in clinical transparency and how it can support patient-centered care.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Prior studies suggest inviting patients to read their visit notes (OpenNotes) has important benefits for patient engagement. We utilized survey data to investigate our hypothesis that patients who read more notes would report greater shared decision making (SDM).

Materials and Methods:

Our survey focused on the safety and quality implications of OpenNotes. 24 722 patients at an urban healthcare organization were invited to complete the survey, which included an item assessing the number of notes read and the CollaboRATE scale to measure SDM. We used log-binomial regression to estimate the relative probability of top CollaboRATE scores across number of notes read while controlling for several covariates.


6913 patients responded (28% response rate). Patients reading 4+ clinical notes in the past 12 months were 17% more likely to have top CollaboRATE scores when compared to patients who had not read a note in the previous 12 months (RR: 1.17, 95%CI: 1.04-1.32).


There is a clear relationship between what SDM requires and the transparency OpenNotes provides. Access to clinicians' notes can support the SDM model, which relies on efficient information exchange between clinicians and well-informed patients.


Our study showed evidence of a relationship between note reading and perceived SDM. Implementation of SDM is likely to expand, given its association with improved patient satisfaction, adherence, and medical decision making. Findings from this study highlight OpenNotes as a policy that institutions can implement as a facilitator of SDM and a manifestation of their commitment to patient autonomy and transparency.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center