Ever wondered what’s in your medical record? If you have access to OpenNotes, you won’t have to wonder anymore
One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is the one where Elaine sneaked a peek at her medical record after the nurse left the exam room. Reading it, she discovered that her doctor described her as a difficult patient (because she didn’t want to put a gown on). When her doctor comes into the room, he quickly snatches the chart away and admonishes her, “You shouldn’t be reading that!”
At that time, it was 1996, I bet that most of us would have agreed with the doctor. We all pretty much accepted that the medical record belonged to the doctor, right?
Well now, there is a movement to change that perception. It is called OpenNotes. The goal of OpenNotes is to give patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, and other clinicians. According to the OpenNotes tagline, the goal is to literally get patients and clinicians on the same page.
Why do this?
The OpenNotes folks believe that being able to read and discuss your visit notes with your doctor or family member may help you take better control of your health and health care. Further, since we know that patients often don’t fully understand what happened during a visit or can’t remember crucial details, like diagnosis, prognosis or treatment (especially if the clinical condition at issue was complicated or scary), having access to their Notes and sharing them with family members or caregivers, may be very helpful in mitigating that problem.
Read Dr. Patricia Salber’s article here!