Are you interested in reading the medical notes your doctor writes about you? Some ten thousand patients around the country recently had that chance. And both they, and their doctors, said it led to better care.
More than 100 doctors in Boston, Seattle, and Danville, Pa., participated in the study, called OpenNotes, which was published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Patients could view their doctor’s notes through a secure online website after being notified by e-mail.
Before it started, the physicians expressed concerns about their workflow as well as patient confusion, questions, and privacy. Patients, on the other hand, overwhelmingly welcomed the idea. After a year, 99 percent of patients remained enthusiastic, though a few acknowledged some confusion, offense, or worry by what they read. And the doctors, in general, didn’t report the problems they had anticipated, with many feeling patient relationships were improved. In fact, when given the chance to drop out of the program, not a single doctor did so.
Read Dr. John Santa’s article here.