Sharing Notes With Patients May Be Beneficial

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Sharing visit notes with patients is part of quality improvement initiatives.
Sharing visit notes with patients is part of quality improvement initiatives.

HealthDay News — Greater engagement is reported by patients who read notes and submit feedback, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Macda Gerard, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues developed a patient feedback tool linked to OpenNotes as part of a pilot quality improvement initiative. Patients with appointments with members of 2 primary care teams piloting the program were eligible to participate. They were asked what they liked about reading notes and using a feedback tool; all patient reports submitted during the pilot period were analyzed. The qualitative responses were coded by 2 researchers.

The investigators found that 98.5%  of the 260 reports submitted by patients and care partners indicated that the reporting tool was valuable. Overall, 68.8% of the reports highlighted what patients liked about reading notes and the OpenNotes patient reporting process. 

Four themes were identified that described what patients valued about note content: confirm and remember next steps, quicker access and results, positive emotions, and sharing information with care partners. Four themes were identified that described patient use of notes and the feedback tool: accuracy and correcting mistakes, partnership and engagement, bidirectional communication and enhanced education, and the importance of feedback.

"Aspects of what patients like about using both notes as well as a feedback tool highlight personal, relational, and safety benefits," the authors write.

Reference

Gerard M, Fossa A, Folcarelli PH, Walker J, Bell SK. What patients value about reading visit notes: A qualitative inquiry of patient experiences with their health information [published online July 14, 2017]. J Med Internet Res. 19(7):e237

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