Access to the Medical Record for Patients and Involved Providers: Transparency Through Electronic Tools

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX 77030, and University of Texas System, Austin, TX 78701.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.81). 12/2011; 155(12):853-4. DOI: 10.1059/0003-4819-155-12-201112200-00010
Source: PubMed
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    • "The principal benefit of an online survey was convenience of distribution and result collation. The foremost drawback of online surveys has been identified as being the technological barrier, with some potential respondents not having access to the technology need to view or respond to the survey (Engel, Jann, Lynn, Scherpenzeel, & Sturgis, 2015; Feeley & Shine, 2011). The researchers knowledge of general practice in various professional contexts provided confidence that all potential respondents to this survey could be expected to have access to the technology required to answer it. "
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    DESCRIPTION: This report looks at general practitioner expectations regarding likely impacts of patient’s accessing their consultation notes via a patient portal. It does that at a time when patient portals are starting to become available to significant numbers of New Zealanders.
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    ABSTRACT: Little information exists about what primary care physicians (PCPs) and patients experience if patients are invited to read their doctors' office notes. To evaluate the effect on doctors and patients of facilitating patient access to visit notes over secure Internet portals. Quasi-experimental trial of PCPs and patient volunteers in a year-long program that provided patients with electronic links to their doctors' notes. Primary care practices at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Massachusetts, Geisinger Health System (GHS) in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center (HMC) in Washington. 105 PCPs and 13 564 of their patients who had at least 1 completed note available during the intervention period. Portal use and electronic messaging by patients and surveys focusing on participants' perceptions of behaviors, benefits, and negative consequences. 11 797 of 13 564 patients with visit notes available opened at least 1 note (84% at BIDMC, 92% at GHS, and 47% at HMC). Of 5391 patients who opened at least 1 note and completed a postintervention survey, 77% to 87% across the 3 sites reported that open notes helped them feel more in control of their care; 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. The volume of electronic messages from patients did not change. After the intervention, few doctors reported longer visits (0% to 5%) or more time addressing patients' questions outside of visits (0% to 8%), with practice size having little effect; 3% to 36% of doctors reported changing documentation content; and 0% to 21% reported taking more time writing notes. Looking ahead, 59% to 62% of patients believed that they should be able to add comments to a doctor's note. One out of 3 patients believed that they should be able to approve the notes' contents, but 85% to 96% of doctors did not agree. At the end of the experimental period, 99% of patients wanted open notes to continue and no doctor elected to stop. Only 3 geographic areas were represented, and most participants were experienced in using portals. Doctors volunteering to participate and patients using portals and completing surveys may tend to offer favorable feedback, and the response rate of the patient surveys (41%) may further limit generalizability. Patients accessed visit notes frequently, a large majority reported clinically relevant benefits and minimal concerns, and virtually all patients wanted the practice to continue. With doctors experiencing no more than a modest effect on their work lives, open notes seem worthy of widespread adoption. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Drane Family Fund, the Richard and Florence Koplow Charitable Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute.
    Annals of internal medicine 10/2012; 157(7):461-70. DOI:10.7326/0003-4819-157-7-201210020-00002 · 17.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many patients with chronic conditions are supported by out-of-home informal caregivers-family members, friends, and other individuals who provide care and support without pay-who, if armed with effective consumer health information technology, could inexpensively facilitate their care. We sought to understand caregivers' use of, interest in, and perceived barriers to health information technology for out-of-home caregiving. We conducted 2 sequential Web-based surveys with a national sample of individuals who provide out-of-home caregiving to an adult family member or friend with a chronic illness. We queried respondents about their use of health information technology for out-of-home caregiving and used multivariable regression to investigate caregiver and care-recipient characteristics associated with caregivers' technology use for caregiving. Among 316 out-of-home caregiver respondents, 34.5% (109/316) reported using health information technology for caregiving activities. The likelihood of a caregiver using technology increased significantly with intensity of caregiving (as measured by number of out-of-home caregiving activities). Compared with very low intensity caregivers, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) of technology use was 1.88 (95% CI 1.01-3.50) for low intensity caregivers, 2.39 (95% CI 1.11-5.15) for moderate intensity caregivers, and 3.70 (95% CI 1.62-8.45) for high intensity caregivers. Over 70% (149/207) of technology nonusers reported interest in using technology in the future to support caregiving. The most commonly cited barriers to technology use for caregiving were health system privacy rules that restrict access to care-recipients' health information and lack of familiarity with programs or websites that facilitate out-of-home caregiving. Health information technology use for out-of-home caregiving is common, especially among individuals who provide more intense caregiving. Health care systems can address the mismatch between caregivers' interest in and use of technology by modifying privacy policies that impede information exchange.
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 07/2013; 15(7):e123. DOI:10.2196/jmir.2472 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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