I had the pleasure to do a podcast with Helen Osborne on OpenNotes, the online sharing of clinical notes with patients, and its relevancy to health literacy. Helen is well known in the world of health literacy, as a consultant, educator, and speaker. She is also an author, including the award winning Health Literacy from A-Z.
When Helen and I first talked, she had some questions on whether or not Open Notes was a good topic for her podcast. We talked about research showing that people who read their doctor’s note feel empowered and more control of their health, and better prepared for their medical appointments. I shared findings from our VA study, about how people think access to notes is a communication tool, and instances where patients improved the quality of their care by reading their notes.
Transparency leads to trust, and trust leads to better communication and better outcome, so it really behooves us all to be advocates.
Improving health literacy is more important than ever. Now that digital access and use of technology is essential, the worlds of literacy – from all angles and including technology – must come together. Broadband and technology proponents use the term “digital inclusion”, and literacy is but one component of that. Having unified language within the literacy and inclusion arenas would be highly valuable.
Thank you, Helen, for the opportunity to bring Open Notes to Health Literacy Out Loud.
Transcript of the Podcast