It was exciting to see another article on the patient access to clinician notes in their medical records that served as a good followup for the article that I shared with you on October 3rd about this topic. And this one was just what I wanted to know – anybody try it yet and if so how did it work out?
The OpenNotes study (this is the technical post) results led to a post on Group Health Research Institute. They found that doctors’ fears of the impact were more than the actual time impact. One note I think that is important, and am surprised on the admission, is that there was a change
“in the way their notes addressed substance abuse, mental health issues, malignancies and obesity, a smaller minority spent more time preparing their notes, and some commented that they were improved.”
And here are some actual statistics on the study:
Of 5,391 patients who opened at least one note and returned surveys, between 77 and 87 percent reported open notes made them feel more in control of their care, with 60 to 78 percent reporting increased adherence to medications. Only 1 to 8 percent of patients reported worry, confusion, or offense; three out of five felt they should be able to add comments to their doctors’ notes; and 86 percent agreed that availability of notes would influence their choice of providers in the future.
My WOW on these numbers is the 86 percent that said it would affect their choice of provider! That is significant! It is so easy to go to the clinician, tell a short story, be asked leading questions, come out with a prescription that you don’t know what it truly does or how it will help you and then have side effects you don’t know if you are supposed to have or if you need to ask about them. This is common, folks!!
I also like that the 3 out of 5 felt they should be able to add comments to the notes! Heck yeah! I want the record to reflect my own words. Let’s all admit – what we say can be heard differently than what we meant. So confirmation of what the clinician heard is very important. Recently, with a stomach virus the physician offered me a prescription for stomach cramps – though I never complained of stomach cramps. The hospital my father was in noted that he took medication for asthma and he never has.
My question to you is are you interested in those mysterious notes that your clinician writes about you?