VA mental health clinician experiences and attitudes toward OpenNotes

Steven K. Dobscha, Lauren M. Denneson, Laura E. Jacobson, Holly B. Williams, Risa Cromer, Susan Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health clinician attitudes toward and experiences with OpenNotes (also known as Blue Button), which provides patients direct access to clinical notes online. Method: A 35-item online survey was administered to 263 mental health clinicians and nurses from one VA Medical Center. Results: Seventy-nine percent of eligible subjects participated. Most respondents agreed or somewhat agreed that OpenNotes is a good idea in general, but only half agreed that making mental health notes available online is a good idea. Most believed that patients will better remember plans of care and be better prepared for visits. Most also felt that patients will worry more and request changes in notes. Many clinicians reported being less detailed and changing the tone of their notes. Conclusion: As a group, mental health clinicians are positive about OpenNotes in general but ambivalent about the use of OpenNotes in mental health care. The results call for research on outcomes of OpenNotes use in mental health and to develop education and support to help clinicians adapt to OpenNotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Electronic health records
  • Health services research
  • Mental health
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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