'Patients should write their own medical records'


Life, Health

The team conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 29 health care experts.

Patients who write their own medical records feel more involved with their care. (Photo: Pixabay)

A team of researchers has suggested that encouraging patients to write their own medical records might help them feel more involved with their care and improve relationships with their doctors.

According to doctors from the University Of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the patients can benefit if they are invited to co-produce medical notes, called "OurNotes," with their doctors, rather than merely reading them.

'OurNotes' has a potential to improve relationships with doctors, and cut documentation demands on clinicians.

This initiative allows doctors to share visit notes with patients, who may then contribute to their own medical records via OurNotes -- adding material such as symptoms or medical issues they experienced since their last visit, along with goals for upcoming visits.

Lead author Dr John Mafi from the UCLA said if executed thoughtfully, OurNotes has the potential to reduce documentation demands on clinicians, while having both the patient and clinician focussing on what's most important to the patient.

"Piloting OurNotes will start at four centers in 2018," he added.

The team conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 29 health care experts.

There were 11 primary care physicians, two specialist physicians, three nurse practitioners, four health information technology professionals, eight patient advocates and one policy expert.

The results suggested the participants overall believed that OurNotes could promote patient engagement, improve patient-centered care and patient-provider collaboration and possibly take some of the documentation burden off busy providers.

The research is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.