Last week, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) received a $450,000 grant from The Commonwealth Fund to develop an interactive, yet still secure health data program. Specifically, BIDMC will be working with OurNotes, a tool that gives patients the opportunity to contribute to their own EMRs.
OurNotes is an extension of OpenNotes, which BIDMC has been using for several years, according to Jan Walker, RN, MBA, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at BIDMC. With OpenNotes, patients have online access to their clinicians’ notes. That option has already proven to be successful, Walker told HealthITSecurity.com.
“We’ve basically shown that if you give patients access to their ambulatory visit notes online, that they will read them and they report getting things out of reading them. They report the benefits of doing that,” Walker said.
A BIDMC-led study from 2012 showed that between 77 and 87 percent of patients using the OpenNotes program said that it made them feel more in control of their care. Moreover, just 1 to 8 percent of patients said they were worried, confused or offended. When that study came out, three out of five patients surveyed said that they should be able to add to their own doctors’ notes.
The OurNotes experiment hopes to add that interactive component, and gives patients the opportunity to communicate with their clinician. For example, if a patient’s relative is diagnosed with an illness, the individual could add that to their medical history, according to Walker. Or, if an individual experiences transient – non-urgent symptoms – in between visits, then he or she could add that information before the next doctor appointment.
Read Elizabeth Snell’s full article on the HealthIT Security website!