A new feature called “OpenNotes” means you can now read visit notes written by your provider through your MyChart account. Reading your visit notes can help you or your caregivers be more involved in your care.
See below for frequently asked questions on OpenNotes.
What is a visit note?
After you visit your primary care provider or other health care professional, they write a note about the most important information from that visit. The note becomes a part of your medical record. A note can be:
- A summary of what you told the provider about your health, also called a history;
- Information about your blood pressure, weight, or how your lungs sounded
- Test results
- Your provider’s assessment or diagnosis of your medical conditions or symptoms
- The treatment plan recommended to you and discussed with you
- Next steps, including upcoming tests, follow-up appointments or referrals.
Why is reading notes helpful?
Patients who read their visit notes have said that they:
- Have a better understanding of their health and medical conditions.
- Can remember and follow their treatment plans better.
- Take better care of themselves.
- Do a better job taking their medications as prescribed.
- Can identify inaccuracies in their health record and play a role in their care.
- Feel comfortable sharing notes with caregivers and others involved in their care.
- Can communicate more clearly, helping to strengthen the partnership between themselves and their health care team.
How can I get the most out of my notes?
- Read your notes after your visit to review what you discussed with your provider (such as your care plan, medication instructions and recommendations for follow-up appointments or referrals).
- Review your notes to make sure the information is accurate. Let your provider or health center know about any changes that need to be made to ensure the safety of your care.
- Read your notes in between visits to remind yourself of the treatment plan and to remember upcoming procedures, tests, or appointments.
- Sharing your notes with family, caregivers or others who are involved in your health is a great way to help manage care and make sure your entire care team is on the same page.
- Before your next visit, read your note to remind yourself about your last conversation with your provider to prepare for the visit. Think about the things you’ve done since you last saw your provider and any questions you’d like to ask.
What if I’m worried about what I might read or don’t want to read a specific note?
Reading notes may not be right for everyone. You are not required to read your notes.
- For some patients, just knowing that the notes are available if they ever want to read them or share them with a person involved in their care is enough.
- You don’t need to read every note on your record, but looking back at them to remember what you discussed with your provider can help you feel and be more in control of your health.
I can’t see a note I want to see. Why is this happening?
This might be happening because:
- The note may have been written before this new feature started.
- The note may not be ready. After the note is written by the provider and approved electronically, it will become available to you in your MyChart account.
- Your provider may have chosen not to share a particular note. Please talk to your provider to understand why they may not have made a particular note available.
If you have any questions, talk to your care team.
How do notes affect confidentiality and privacy about my health information?
Being able to read notes does not change the confidential relationship you have with your care team. Only you and the care team directly involved in your care can access your notes. What does change is your ability to share your notes. It’s now easier to share your medical information with a care partner, family member, or others. But only if you choose. You are in full control of who has access to your note, which means you are in full control of your privacy.
To help keep your information secure:
- Keep your MyChart login name and password private.
- Wherever you look at your MyChart account or notes, always exit by logging out when you are done.
To read your visit notes, log in to MyChart, and go to Visits>Appointments and Visits.
If you don’t have a MyChart account, sign up today.
For more information on OpenNotes, speak to your provider.
We’re here to help.