Families across the United States are finding that, when it comes to medical care for the elderly, sharing a doctor’s medical notes with other adult family members can make the difference in the quality of care they receive. Even more common is that it improves patient satisfaction: a patient who can see a provider’s medical notes is more engaged and likely to adhere to a prescribed health regimen.

A 2012 study found that 99 percent of patients given access to their medical notes wanted continued transparency. As the Wall Street Journal reported in a recent article, OpenNotes – a Moore Foundation grantee – is helping lead the way by enabling patients to easily see their clinicians’ medical notes. The foundation's support for OpenNotes supports its overall mission to improving experience and outcomes in patient care. 

The Wall Street Journal story stated, in part:

“Around the country, physicians, nurses and other clinicians are sharing their notes with patients through OpenNotes. A research paper on OpenNotes published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found patients who shared physician notes were more likely to follow doctors’ orders, including directions about taking prescribed medications.”

The article goes on to explain, another benefit of sharing medical notes is that it enables patients to share more medical information with designated family members. Although transparency among family members can introduce sensitive issues requiring gentle navigation, few doubt that OpenNotes and other sharing technologies offers tremendous potential to increase patient engagement, better prepare family caregivers, and promote better health outcomes overall.

For additional information on OpenNotes, read a story from last year announcing an important milestone: OpenNotes movement reaches 10 million Americans

 

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