Patients soon will have free, electronic access to the notes their doctors write about them under a new federal requirement for transparency. Many health systems are launching Monday, but the deadline has been extended until April. Studies have shown that patients who read their notes understand more about their health, take their medications as prescribed more often and feel more in control of their care. If you already use a patient portal to email your doctor or schedule an appointment, you may soon see new options allowing you to view your doctor’s notes and see your test results as soon as they are available.