Discussing them with patients may enhance health outcomes
Between 40% and 80% of what a healthcare provider tells patients is immediately forgotten, and half of what they do remember, they get wrong.
“Those are two of the most depressing statistics I’ve ever heard,” said John Mafi, MD, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “We have a big communication problem in our healthcare system, and that’s an understatement.”
The result of all this miscommunication and forgetfulness, Dr. Mafi said, are the very things that are plaguing the healthcare system as a whole: Low patient engagement, poorly managed chronic conditions, prescriptions that go unfilled, medications that lay forgotten in medicine cabinets, bad outcomes, and high costs.
“A lot of these issues stem from poor patient communication,” he said. But a new study shows that sharing doctor visit notes with patients — and reminding patients that those notes are available to them — can help keep patients engaged.
Dr. Mafi is lead author of a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association that examined the effect of email reminders on whether patients accessed their doctor’s notes in the OpenNotes program.
Read Alexandria Wilson Pecci’s full article here.