Patient Access to Online Visit Notes

Perceptions of Doctors and Patients at an Urban HIV/AIDS Clinic

Open Notes_20120530_01301

This study examines perceptions and opinions about online access to doctor’s visit notes among HIV clinic patients as compared to primary care patients, finding that online visit notes are ready to be shared between HIV clinic patients and doctors.

The Issue:

Electronic health records may help empower HIV/AIDS patients to improve their health. This study seeks to understand the perceptions and opinions about online access to doctor’s visit notes among HIV clinic patients as compared to general, primary care patients.

 

Key Findings

  • There was no difference between HIV clinic and primary care clinic patients regarding perceived benefits and risks of electronic access to doctor’s visit notes.

  • A higher proportion of HIV clinic patients reported that online access to their doctor’s notes made it more likely they would take their medications as prescribed (75% compared to 67%).

  • A higher percentage of primary care clinic patients report sharing or discussing their visit notes with a non-caretaker friend (33% compared to 9%).

Conclusion:

Electronic medical records can play an important role in helping patients manage their care. This study, although limited to a single HIV clinic site, indicates that online visit notes are ready to be shared between HIV clinic patients and doctors.

About the Study:

This OpenNotes study evaluated the perceptions and opinions of patients and their doctors who utilized online doctor’s visit notes and medical records. Specifically, this article examines the experiences among HIV clinic patients and their doctors in an Urban HIV/AIDS clinic as compared to three primary care practices in the U.S. Pre-and post- intervention surveys were conducted; the intervention lasted one year and included 99 doctors and 3,819 patients.

 

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.