About Open Notes
What are open notes?
- After office or telehealth visits, notes are written by your medical or mental health provider that summarize important information about your visit. These notes become part of your health record. When the note is shared with you, it becomes an “open note”. Some things your note may include are:
- a summary of what you told your provider during your appointment
- findings from an exam (example: blood pressure, weight, observations of your mood, etc.)
- provider’s thoughts on your concerns, progress, lab results, x-rays, scans, biopsies, etc.
- summary about your medical conditions or symptoms and any relevant diagnoses
- recommendations made during your visit. These are also known as “treatment plan” or “plan of care”. These notes may include tests, follow-up appointments, referrals, exercises, etc.
Why should I read my notes?
- It has been found that most people remember less than half of what is discussed with their provider during their visit. Notes give you the chance to review the details of your visit at any time. Some benefits include:
- feeling more confident, prepared, and in control of your physical and/or mental health care
- clarifying what you’re supposed to do between visits, helping you understand medications, and reminding you to schedule follow-up appointments
- the ability to share medical information more effectively with other providers or loved ones, if you choose to do so
- the ability to ask more informed questions and make confident decisions. Knowledge is power. Research shows that seeing notes can build trust between the person and their medical and/or mental health team
- confirming the accuracy of your notes and being able to identify mistakes
What should I consider when reading my notes?
- Is it accurate?
- Do you want to share any details of the note with loved ones?
- Is there anything you’re worried about that needs follow-up?
- Is there anything you don’t understand?
- Is there information, such as important family history, that you forgot to share?
- Are there any errors in your health history that you need to correct?
What if I’m worried about reading my note?
- Reading open notes may not be right for everyone. While studies show that very few people report feeling harmed by what they read, trust your gut.
Open Notes at CSU Health Network
How do I access my note?
- After your appointment at CSU Health Network, you will receive a notification via email or text that a secure message is waiting for you on the Student Health Portal. Log in to the portal using your NetID (formally eID) and password. Click “My Profile” in the main menu, and go to “My Chart”. Here you will find your complete medical record at CSU Health Network.
- In order to view your notes from your appointment(s), navigate to the “Chart Notes” and “Encounter Summaries” sections. Check the box(s) next to the corresponding appointment date(s) under each section. Once the desired appointment date(s) is selected, scroll down and click the green “View” button in order to see your notes in your web browser, or click the green “Download” button to download a .pdf version of your notes.
What if I have questions after reading my note?
- Write down your questions and follow up with your provider or talk to a trusted friend or family member.
Why can’t I find my note?
- Your note may not be ready. Sometimes they are available quickly but other times it may take a few days.
What should I do if I find an error in my note?
- Please contact CSU Health Network Medical Records department at (970) 491-7509 if you identify an error in your note. The Medical Records staff can work with the provider to see if the error is appropriate to be corrected.
How do I opt-out of open notes if I do not want them shared with me?
- If you do not want your open notes shared with you, please reach out to your provider at CSU Health Network.
Confidentiality and Privacy
- Open notes do not change the confidential relationship you have with your providers.Legally, they can only share your information with other health care professionals who provide care to you unless they have your written permission to share with others.
- Share wisely. The information in your records is yours to share or not share. With access to your notes, it’s easier to share your information with partners, family members, or others – but only if you choose. Make sure that if you choose to share your notes, that you share them with people you trust.
- Protect your password. To ensure your privacy, make sure to keep your login password private. If you have previously shared your CSU NetID (formally eID) login information with others, such as family members or partners, consider changing your password if you do not want them to access your open notes on the Student Health Portal. Also, remember to always log out of the CSU Student Health Portal when you are done.