Following implementation, more primary and specialty care clinicians agreed that sharing notes with patients online was beneficial overall. Fewer had concerns about more time needed for office visits or documentation. Most thought patients would worry more and reported being less candid in documentation.
Surveys show that clinicians worry that patients with mental health diagnoses will become anxious, confused, or upset after reading their visit notes. In this study, we examined how patients with a mental illness diagnosis who read at least 1 clinical note in the last 12 months perceived how reading the note affected their adherence to prescribed medication.
Open anesthetic records may empower patients. Armed with previous anesthetic records, patients may be better prepared to communicate prior adverse events or side effects. We may also see more patients who seek the same “cocktail” of anesthetics that were provided to them in the past or may ask for the same anesthesia providers who have cared for them. Overall, patients should be able to better communicate their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with prior anesthetic experiences. Anesthesia providers will also have access to a wealth of important information, like airway management details, from prior out-of-network anesthetic records.
Although limited by relatively low survey response rate, OpenNotes was well-received by parents of pediatric patients without untoward consequences. The main concerns pediatricians raise about OpenNotes proved to not be issues in the pediatric population. Our results demonstrate clear benefits to adoption of OpenNotes. This provides reassurance that the transition to sharing notes with pediatric patients can be successful and value additive.
One in 10 respondents reported feeling judged/offended by something they read in an outpatient note due to the perception that it contained errors, surprises, labeling, or evidence of disrespect. The content and tone may be particularly important to patients in poor health. Enhanced clinician awareness of the patient perspective may promote an improved medical lexicon, reduce the transmission of bias to other clinicians, and reinforce healing relationships.
In an effort to foster patient engagement, some healthcare systems provide their patients with open notes, enabling them to access their clinical notes online. In January 2013, the Veterans Health Administration (VA) implemented online access to clinical notes (“VA Notes”) through the Blue Button feature of its patient portal.
A variety of surveys have been conducted into patients’ and doctors’ experiences of open notes but much less is understood about the objective changes in documentation that may arise as a result of patient access. We review current research into open notes including clinicians’ reports on how they have modified their notes as a result of implementing the practice. Highlighting the potentially beneficial and harmful effects that different types of documentation changes might have on the therapeutic relationship and on patient outcomes, we argue that more research is needed to investigate objective changes in notes as a result of patient access.