Open access to medical records has the potential for a greater line of communication between doctor and patient—helping improve the health of our society.
In this article, published in the October 2012 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the author discusses the positive outcomes from a year-long experimental study, OpenNotes, where patients could access their doctor’s notes. The pioneering report showed that while some caution and apprehension was originally a concern, they mostly disappeared after the study’s completion.
The author reveals that overcoming concerns and fears of adopting a new system of electronic communication is important. The benefits to the patient and adhering to best practices is of utmost importance. His strong belief in the value of transparency and openness in communication was solidified after a serious medical condition placed him unexpectedly in the shoes of a patient. Thankful for doctors who were willing to adhere to his strong interest in what they were thinking, the author reflects on a time when such openness was not the norm.
Providing open notes to all populations has its challenges. Those with mental illness or patients who have no access to a computer are unable to take advantage of this open communication. The author believes in the potential to overcome these obstacles when the quality of patient care can only increase.
OpenNotes, a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was developed to demonstrate and evaluate the impact on both patients and clinicians of fully sharing (through an electronic patient portal) all encounter notes between patients and their primary care providers.
OpenNotes: A "New Medicine" With Clear Benefits
OpenNotes, a year-long study funded primarily by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, set out to answer a simple, but revolutionary, question: What happens when we give patients access to the notes their doctors write about them? The answer: Patients become more active partners in their own care.
Read what people are saying about the study...
...In The Wall Street Journal: "Access to doctors' notes aids patients' treatment"
...On CNN's The Chart blog: "Study: Doctors should share notes with you"
...On Reuters.com: "Patients like reading their doctors' notes: study"
...On ConsumerReports.org: "Patient access to their doctor's notes leads to better care, study finds"
...On The Boston Globle's White Coat Notes blog: "Beth Israel Deaconess study: Letting patients read doctors’ visit notes has positive impact"
RWJF Scholar examines neighborhood-based death rates from opiate-based painkiller overdoses, compared with heroin overdose deaths.
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jennifer Bellot writes about losing her grandmother to complications from a medical error.
The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps can be put to use right away to help create a culture of health in your community.
As part of National Public Health Week, PHLR—a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—has been participating in the week by contribut...
Learn how The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to building a culture of health in Risa Lavizzo-Mourey's 2014 annual message.
A new paper reports on the proceedings of an unprecedented meeting that brought together diverse leaders from community colleges around the ...
Empathy is the lifeblood of any system of health—it gives us all a shared stake in being healthy and helping others to thrive as well.
Unengaged patients can incur costs of up to 21% higher than patients who are highly engaged in care. This suite of materials from RWJF's AF4...
Team members, grantees, and guests discuss breakthrough ideas that will allow us to move toward solving challenges in health care.
Study: More ‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ Youth at Higher Risk for Cancer-risk Behaviors - Study: Casual Marijuana Use Can Cause Dangerous Chan...
Developing small community homes as alternatives to nursing homes, this radical, new national model for skilled nursing care returns control...
Hilary Levey Friedman, author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, writes about youth sports.