OpenNotes July 2014 3 million patients We’ve often written here about the OpenNotes study (here’s a site search), which documented that when patients can see what their clinicians wrote, the sky doesn’t fall; instead, all kinds of good things happen. This is game-changing, even world-changing for how we conduct medicine: As I’ve often said, “People perform better when they’re informed better,” and SPM co-chair Dr. Danny Sands says “How can patients participate if they can’t see what I see??”

Adoption of OpenNotes policies is going nuts: their “who’s doing it” page now says three million patients have access! You can subscribe to their publicity list on the OpenNotes site. Here’s today’s.

Of special interest:

  • Some people are starting to do OpenNotes with psychiatrists. Many people thought that would never happen, but see the New York Times piece below (and three other news items about it!)
  • SPM member Peter Elias MD wrote a piece on The Health Care Blog, “An Open Note to OpenNotes Objectors.” It’s so good that it was picked up for publicity in this newsletter. (See below.)

To read this edition online click here; to see past editions click here. (The box to subscribe is at the bottom of the site’s pages.)

This edition:

The Economist: More patients are getting to read their doctors’ scribblings

Jul 26, 2014 12:01 pm
A doctor who sees a child with an odd appearance might write “FLK” in his notes. Short for “funny-looking kid”, it is meant not as an insult, but as a reminder to watch for slow growth and mental retardation, which can accompany physical abnormalities. Later he may add “FLD”: funny-looking dads tend to have funnylooking […]
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90.9 WBUR: Beth Israel Opens Mental Health Notes To Some Patients

Jul 22, 2014 02:23 pm
If you’ve ever met with a therapist, you may have wondered what he or she is writing down while you’re speaking. Maybe you’ve even tried to sneak a peek and decipher upside-down handwriting. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is removing that guesswork for some patients. A new pilot program lets carefully selected psychiatric patients read […]
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An Open Note to Open Note Objectors

Jul 22, 2014 02:14 pm
There is a growing group of articulate and engaged patients committed to getting access to all their medical information in order to be better positioned to work collaboratively with their clinical teams. Published studies like the OpenNotes project have consistently shown significant benefits and a lack of serious problems. Health care systems are slow to […]
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Being able to read my doctors’ notes has become an invaluable tool

Jul 21, 2014 02:19 pm
This blog is written by Eileen Hughes, Program Manager, Community Benefits, BIDMC I was 20 years old when a new doctor I had just started seeing for my recent diagnosis of type 1 diabetes told me that his job was to help me learn more about diabetes, but ultimately it was my disease to manage. […]
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Shape: Would You Want to Read Your Therapist’ Notes?

Jul 14, 2014 09:57 am
If you’ve ever visited a therapist, you’ve likely experienced this very moment: You spill your heart out, anxiously await a response, and your doc looks down—scribbling into a notebook or tapping away at an iPad. You’re stuck: “What is he writing?!” About 700 patients at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital—part of a preliminary study at […]
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KPCC: Should Therapists Give Their Patients Access to Mental Health Notes?

Jul 12, 2014 10:04 am
At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, therapists are giving mental health patients access to therapy notes and charts, something patients commonly have access to in other fields. The doctors behind the project say that opening mental health records up to patients allows for a more participatory, active, and collaborative therapy practice. Critics argue […]
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New York Times: What the Therapist Thinks About You

Jul 07, 2014 05:26 pm
David Baldwin wasn’t sure how he had come across the other day in group therapy at the hospital, near the co-op apartment where he lives with his rescue cat, Zoey. He struggles with bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and depression. Like so many patients, he secretly wondered what his therapist thought of him. But unlike those […]
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