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Tom Delbanco


Most Creative People 2017

Tom Delbanco

Cofounder, OpenNotes

For involving patients in their medical care

“I hear stories all the time that begin with ‘if only,’ ” says physician Tom Delbanco. “ ‘If only I could review my mother’s notes, look at the chart.’ ” OpenNotes—the movement Delbanco cofounded to allow patients and their relatives online access to exam records, typically through health providers’ existing web portals—now reaches 13 million patients, having doubled in size from 2015. The idea empowers patients to “share in decision making” and even correct errors, says the Harvard Medical School professor, who launched the program in 2010 with a study at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Many doctors have concerns that sharing their notes could lead to patient anxiety and confusion over jargon and abbreviations, but Delbanco has now persuaded more than 80 medical facilities to participate. His research has found that most people with access to notes feel more in control of their care. 

Tom Delbanco On The Web
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