Be a better healthcare consumer!
Medical notes are required by law but few patients ask to see them and doctors, perhaps fearing an additional time burden and concern about offending or worrying patients, do not make the process of securing the notes easy. However, providing patients with electronic access to their doctors’ notes may have benefits to consumers and doctors without increasing doctors’ workload reports a recent study. Participating doctors provided patients with electronic links to their notes. Why spend time reading notes from a doctor’s visit? Sixty to 78 percent of patients who read their doctor’s notes after a visit reported they were more likely to take medications as prescribed according to the study reported in the October 2012 “Annals of Internal Medicine”. The study found that patients who read their visit notes reported an “increased sense of control, greater understanding of their medical issues, improved recall of their plans of care and better preparation for future visits”. The study reported that doctors’ reservations did not materialize, few reporting that more time was needed for writing notes or answering questions outside of visits. Many reported enhanced trust, transparency, and communication with their patients. To read more on the study, go to http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/index.php/2012/10/for-patients-what-a-difference-a-note-makes/.