Allina Health gives patients expanded access to their medical records

For more information, contact: Gloria O'Connell,

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. 5/4/2017 — To improve patient experience and care, Allina Health is the Twin Cities’ first health system to launch OpenNotes. After a visit to the doctor, when people are sick, tired or stressed, they might forget what was said or prescribed.

Now, nearly 500,000 Allina Health patients can review their doctors’ notes, instructions, next steps, prescriptions and orders online, anytime through the secure Allina Health account, the online patient portal to their interactive health record.

“Patients are familiar with going online to access portions of their electronic health record for general medical information, such as scheduling an appointment, viewing lab results or view medical history. But doctor’s notes are the thread that ties together many pieces of information in the health record,” said Tim Sielaff, MD, senior vice president of Allina Health.

“As doctors, we know that patients generally retain only a portion of the information that is exchanged with their doctor during an office visit. Sharing these notes can greatly change the way patients engage with their doctor and manage their care,” Sielaff said.

In addition, to being able to view doctor’s notes, Allina Health patients can use their Allina Health account to send a medical message to their entire care team, do an eVisit and get their lab results usually same day from their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone app 24/7. This increased patient involvement in their health and medical care can lead to more efficient care, better patient-doctor communications and healthier outcomes.

Patients who look for OpenNotes using their Allina Health online account will find their doctor’s notes in the section called Health Records Home. These notes apply to clinic visits only, not hospital care.

A national study in 2010 funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy organization devoted exclusively to health and health care, tested the OpenNotes concept with 105 primary care physicians and more than 13,000 patients during a year-long voluntary program.

Patients reported:
• Having better recall after visits
• Feeling more in control of their care
• Better communication and collaboration with their doctor
• Feeling better educated
• Taking medications more effectively
• Preventing important mistakes
• Sharing their notes with family, friends and health professionals

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.