When Patients Read Their Doctor’s Notes

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Patients who read what their doctor writes about them are often more engaged in their care, leading to better health.

Patients who read what their doctor writes about them are often more engaged in their care, leading to better health.

Have you ever sat in your doctor’s office and wondered what they were writing down during your check-up? Next time, ask to see the notes. You may find that what you read could drastically impact your health.

Several years ago, OpenNotes started out as an experiment to evaluate the effect on doctors and patients of facilitating patient access to visit notes over secure Internet portals. The thinking was that if patients read their doctor’s notes, then they would be more engaged in their care. According to the experiment, 80 percent of patients who saw their records reported better understanding of their medical condition and said they were in better control of their health.

Today about 5 million people see physicians who share notes.

OpenNotes is part of the health system’s growing focus on patient engagement – the idea that more informed people will take better care of themselves, improving their health while lowering costs, reports Kaiser Health News. This emphasis is driven in part by the federal health law, which links Medicare payments to how well hospitals and doctors do at getting and keeping patients healthy.

Read two great articles here that include patient examples:

What Patients Gain By Reading Their Doctor’s Notes

When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write