OpenNotes an exercise in transparency
Technology has placed vast amounts of medical information literally a mouse click away. Yet what often may be central - a doctor's notes about a patient visit - has traditionally not been part of the discussion. In effect, such records have long been out of bounds.
In "Open Notes: Doctors and Patients Signing On," published in the July 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers speculate about the risks and rewards of making clinicians' notes transparent to patients.
"Opening documents that are often both highly personal and highly technical is anything but simple," write ten investigators, led by Tom Delbanco MD and Jan Walker RN, MBA of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. They document what they have learned from preparing their 'OpenNotes' study, in which more than 100 primary care doctors are inviting about 25,000 patients to read their notes. The 12-month trial involves doctors and patients associated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
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