Prediction with Open Medical Notes: A Grand Slam for Patients

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a Red Sox fan. I was born at Beth Israel Hospital, grew up near the Orange Line. So I’m not in bad company when rookie Dan Nava hits a grand slam on his first at-bat (and first pitch!). But that’s not the only great story in the Boston Globe lately.

The Open Notes project I talked about here and posts of here, is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project studying patient access to medical records and providers’ notes.

I’ve been studying this subject, interviewing patients who have been able to download a lot of their electronic record from the Veterans Health Administration (the first “version” of MyHealtheVet, VA’s personal health record). I haven’t completed all the focus groups yet, but so far the discussions have been exciting and illuminating. Open Notes is a much larger study, so my contribution is likely to pale in comparison. Nevertheless, I’ll throw some predictions out there on this field of study:

1. Once patients see the real thing, they really like having access.
2. They expect medical jargon but it doesn’t get in their way: they just Google the words and abbreviations.
3. Some content surprises – at first – but then people deal with it.
4. Many say content is wrong. They want it corrected.
5. Many feel it helps them “manage” (our word, not theirs) their medical problems better.
6. It’s uncommon for a person to be distraught.
7. Many feel more prepared for in-person visits.

In other words, shared health records/data is a Grand Slam!

While the fans might be wild and happy, the players (doctors and other record ‘writers’) won’t all be happy about it. It will be a GAME CHANGER. How do you think our notes will change?

2 thoughts on “Prediction with Open Medical Notes: A Grand Slam for Patients

  1. Pingback: Shared Health Data » Dear ONC: Nothing about me without me. But Who am I?

  2. Pingback: Doctors on Open Notes: “It was easier than expected”.

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