Majority of Patients Using Open Notes Experience Clinically Relevant Benefits

October 3, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Virtually all patients who were allowed to read their physician’s notes online expressed a desire for the practice of open notes to continue, reports a study published in the October 2, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine. The study, which included 13,564 patients from three primary care practices in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington, found that of the 5,391 patients who opened at least one note and completed a postintervention survey, 77% to 87% reported that open notes helped them feel more in control of their care. Additionally, 60% to 78% of those taking medications reported increased medication adherence; 26% to 36% had privacy concerns; 1% to 8% reported that the notes caused confusion, worry, or offense; and 20% to 42% reported sharing notes with others.

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