I’ve said it before here many times over.
In achieving quality of medical care, information and transparency are fundamental. Knowledge empowers patients to share in their medical decisions.
Doctors have always been teachers, but with the explosion of medical treatment options, this role has never been more important. Currently, in most of the real world, this teaching occurs in a brief and often rushed office encounter. The doctor uses the spoken word as the main means of education. Is is possible that the written word might help the important messages stick? Like homework or handouts at a lecture.
OpenNotes is an initiative to allow patients easy access to their chart. It’s a highly disruptive idea. Though it’s true that people have a legal right to see their chart, few patients look. And even if they did, the medical speak would be hard to understand.
A group of Harvard doctors think it’s time to change. They have published a study that confirms the idea that patients would be well-served by access to their medical record.
I spent a couple of days drafting an opinion on this matter. It wasn’t an easy topic. The end result of many drafts was that OpenNotes seems highly relevant to the world of electrophysiology–where we often use aggressive treatments to treat non-immediately-life-threatening rhythm disorders.
I posted my thoughts over at theHeart.org. The link is highlighted: OpenNotes: Of course patients should have ready access to their medical record