Article: what your doctor wrote

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by TwoCatDoctors, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    [NOTE: This isn't taking into consideration the medical offices and hospitals that are going strictly computerized in order to take advantage of monies from the government for doing so.]

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    – Laura Martin, MD
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010


    In a project called “Open Notes,” starting this summer, patients will be invited by their primary care doctors to read what was written about them during their appointment. This will all be done through a secure web site.

    More than 100 participating doctors from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will send the invitations to about 25,000 patients who register as portal users after each doctor visit and before each subsequent visit.

    The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and described in the July 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, examines whether patients and providers will want to continue online access to doctors’ notes when the program ends after one year.

    Patients do have a legal right to review their doctor’s notes and other medical records. But would you want to read them?

    These notes have traditionally served as a form of communication between doctors and other medical personnel. They sometimes are written with an abundance of medical terminology and acronyms without strict adherence to conventional grammatical sentence structure or good penmanship (have you ever seen a doctor’s signature?).

    For example, the first sentence of a typical doctor’s note could look something like this: Ms. S is a 51 yo female with a hx of HTN, dyslipidemia, DM, and OA who presents with symptoms of SOB for one month.

    Who are they calling an SOB? Well, don’t be offended, it’s not about your personality, but your health. A little translation may be necessary. In layman’s terms, the note would read more like this: Ms. S is a 51-year-old female with a medical history including hypertension, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoarthritis who states that she developed symptoms of shortness of breath one month ago.

    Feel better now (except for the ailments)? That is yet to be seen.

    It will be interesting to see at the end of the year the perspectives of both the doctors and patients about reviewing the notes. Will doctors, pressed for time, need to provide much clarification of what the notes mean? Will patients, who often prefer to just trust their doctor, end up finding the notes helpful?

    Will doctors’ penmanship improve?

    On a serious note, perhaps the Open Notes project will show improvement in overall doctor-patient communication and improve patients’ understanding of their medical conditions.

    We’ll schedule an appointment to check back in a year.

  2. markwilson419

    markwilson419 New Member

    Nice and well written article.You are very generous with your knowledge. The article was most comprehensive.