More than 100 primary care doctors and 20,000 patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle participated in a 12-month demonstration project of OpenNotes ® , a program where doctors invite patients to access their notes detailing medical office visits via a secure patient portal linked with their electronic medical record system. Registered portal users receive an automatic e-mail notification after their doctor signs a note from a visit. They can access the note by logging in to the portal, using it as they see fit. For example, patients may read a note to develop a better understanding of their care; discuss aspects of the visit with the doctor at the next office visit; act on self-management, treatment, and other recommendations included in the note; and share the note with others, including family members and other providers. The program has generated high levels of satisfaction and produced multiple benefits for both patients and doctors.
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