Increased Availability to Physician Notes… A Good Idea or Too Much Patient Access?

The idea of increased access to physician’s notes is gaining momentum and with additional testing carried out with real patients and physicians; results seem to show satisfaction from each side.  As patients of all ages become more technologically savvy, they have a greater desire to use their knowledge to improve their health and gain access to additional outlets providing information relating to their health care.

What better way to provide information to patients than allow direct access to notes taken during their appointments by those delivering their care?  As patients enter the healthcare setting, they are often full of questions and concerns, but as they sit with the physician, the idea of the “white coat syndrome” occurs and questions/concerns go unattended.  Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of open access to physician notes is the ability to check in whenever needed and recap the conversation and directions given by the physician.  The freedom to do so is helpful for the average patient handling their health needs, but also when the care of the patient is placed in the hands of another.

While open access to physician notes may not be seen favorably by all; those involved in initial testing showed an overwhelming satisfaction with the concept and execution of the process. According to a recent article from HealthLeaders, 99% of patients involved in the testing group were satisfied with the concept and wished to continue access to their physician’s notes.  On the other side, only 20% of physicians noted they would not want to continue the sharing process after the testing period.

Consumers, especially in the healthcare field, are more involved in their level of care than patients in the past.  As healthcare continues to grow, not only on the Internet, but also through the use of information technology; patients are more open to the idea of real time access to their health care needs and records.  With the initial testing of OpenNotes complete, satisfaction with the concept has proved to be exceptionally high and the desire to interact in such a relationship will continue to grow.

May 2013
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