Interim Physicians Blog

Dr. Ken's Corner: Should Patients Have Access to Your Notes?

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Aug 19, 2015 3:01:17 PM

It's a perennial question with vocal advocates on both sides:  Should your patients have access to the notes you make in their medical records?  It's based, in part, on the idea that better-informed patients will take better care of themselves, that the doctor-patient relationship should be less paternalistic, more of a partnership.  More than 20 institutions nationwide, including Harvard Medical School, Geisinger in Pennsylvania, and Harborview in Seattle have joined the Open Notes initiative in which physicians share their notes with an estimated 5 million patients (Shefali Lutha, Kaiser Health News, June 1, 2015).  Those in favor of note-sharing say it puts patients "in a position to catch mistakes and have more informed conversations with their physicians.  But others worry the practice could curb honesty in what doctors write about their patients, or cause confusion if patients misinterpret what's written."

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Topics: doctor-patient relationship, Dr. Ken's Corner, Dr. Ken Teufel, locum tenens, medscape, note-sharing, patient records, Steven Weinberger

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