Reading Clinician Visit Notes Can Improve Patients’ Adherence to Medications
Carolyn Assa 617-975-7607, firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY 28, 2019
The study of approximately 20,000 adult patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (BIDMC) in Boston, at the University of Washington Medicine (UW) in Seattle, and at Geisinger, a health system in rural Pennsylvania was conducted online between June and October of 2017. The three health systems have been sharing visit notes written by primary care doctors, medical and surgical specialists, and other clinicians for several years.
“Sharing clinical notes with patients is a relatively low-cost, low-touch intervention,” said study lead Catherine DesRoches, DrPH, Executive Director of OpenNotes, and also of the Division of General Medicine at BIDMC “While note sharing requires a culture shift in medicine, it is not technically difficult with most Electronic Health Record Systems (EHRs), and could have an enormous payoff, given that we know poor adherence to medications costs the health care system about $300 billion per year. Anything that we can do to improve adherence to medications has significant value.”
This kind of transparent communication presents a big change in long-standing practice, and it’s not easy,” “Doctors contemplating it for the first time are nervous. They worry about many things, including potential effects on their workflow, and scaring their patients. But once they start, we know of few doctors who decide to stop, and patients overwhelmingly love it. The promise it holds for medication adherence is enormous, and we are really excited by these findings.”
and Delbanco, co-authors include Sigall Bell, MD, Zhiyong Dong, MS, Leonor Fernandez, MD, Patricia Fitzgerald, MSc, and Jan Walker RN, MBA of BIDMC; Joann Elmore, MD of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA); and Joshua M. Liao, MD, MSc, and Thomas Payne, MD, FACMI of University of Washington (UW) Medical School.
OpenNotes is an international movement that urges doctors, nurses, therapists, and others to invite patients to read the notes they write to describe a visit. These shared clinical notes, known increasingly as “open notes,” are spreading throughout the U.S. OpenNotes is based at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. To learn more, visit www.opennotes.org.
About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.
BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.
BIDMC is part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.