Transparency, until recently, was rarely associated with health care. Not anymore. For better and sometimes worse, there is a revolutionary movement toward transparency in all facets of health care: transparency of costs, outcomes, quality, service, and reputation. Full transparency has now come to medical records in the form of OpenNotes. This is a patient-centered initiative that allows patients full access to their charts, including all their doctors’ notes.
Patients have always had the right to see their records. Ordinarily though, they would be required to go to the medical records office, fill out paperwork, and request copies of their charts. They’d have to supply a reason and usually pay a fee. OpenNotes changes that. Open patient charts are free and easy to access, usually digitally. OpenNotes programs are still rare, and before we go any further, it’s important to examine what we’ve learned about them.
In 2010, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle invited 105 primary care physicians to open their notes to nearly 14,000 patients. The results were overwhelmingly (and to me, surprisingly) positive: More than 85% of patients accessed their notes at least once.
Read the complete article by Jefferey Benabio here.