Are Your Patients Completing Their Own Medical Forms?

Ever get that feeling that when your doctor is fervently typing away at his desk, he’s saying bad things behind your back? Or keeping you in the dark on what’s really going on?

You don’t have to wonder! You have a legal right to read all the notes they’ve made about you and your visits. But wait, they said what? If there is information you spot in your file that is incorrect, now you may have the chance to edit it. 

Ability to review medical forms that affect your patient file is now available to select clinics that choose to have the trial run.

shared medical notes

Access to Doctor Notes by Medical Forms

Having patients review doctor’s notes could provide better physician-patient understanding, foster a better relationship, help with decision making and provide a basis for good communication. There is a chance it could have negative consequences as well, such as confusing or overwhelming the patient. A study was completed in the Annals of Internal Medicine that concluded patients would benefit from the shared editing of medical forms and notes.

They found that doctors were spending less time on documentation and patients were feeling more involved in their overall care. This initiative is “OpenNotes” and the pilot is going to roll out to many hospitals and clinics in the next year.

The OpenNotes Project

The OpenNotes project tested to see how patients would respond to having their files available for editing and review. There were 29 participants that worked in healthcare including 11 physicians, alongside 25,000 patients.

Because of its positive response, select clinics have chosen to implement it at a greater level. Patients can add notes to their files such as symptoms or medical problems they’ve experienced since their last appointment, or goals and issues they’d like to address at their next appointment.

The plan is to send a follow-up email to patients prior to their next visit asking them to review their notes. At that point, they can make any changes and provide detailed information on what they hope to discuss at their next appointment.

This participation is not going to be marked as a requirement but as an option to patients that want to be more involved and informed about their care. The hope is that physician’s workflows will not be more bogged down by patient questions, but that physicians will be spending less time on documentation and medical forms. This would allow physicians to be spending more face time with their patients and less time with their computers.

Increase Patient and Physician Happiness

Speeding up the physician workflow process is what we do best here at Extract. We’re constantly thinking about how we can help improve your healthcare organization’s physician-patient relationships. We do this by eliminating paper-based workflows and automating them to reduce time spent on manual tasks. This allows the physician to direct their focus to patient-centered care.

Whether you choose to implement OpenNotes in your healthcare clinic or hospital, Extract can help you maximize the productivity of your physicians and eliminate patient dissatisfaction.

About the Author: Kari Siegenthaler

Kari Siegenthaler is a Marketing Specialist for the Marketing Department at Extract. Kari attained her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications and convergent media at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Wearing the “hat of all trades,” she has an unusual, hybrid ability to write narratives, creatively craft meaningful messages, and design graphically compelling images. Kari is passionate about effective communication and developing strategy plans that allow Extract to succeed and excel way beyond their goals.