How important is patient contribution to their own medical records? Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) will find out soon, according to a press release from that organization. Using a version of the OpenNotes program called OurNotes, the hospital intends to try out a collaborative form of electronic medical records that encourages patient involvement.
Under this initiative, the BIDMC will follow up on the success that OurNotes has seen so far by letting patients read the notes that care providers take about them. Backed both by previous research and a $450,000 grant, the hope is that this would raise the value of care and especially target the individuals in long-term care.
In the official statement from the BIDMC, the center's principal investigator, Jan Walker, described some of the possible future applications of this approach to records, saying that it could set the stage for further enhancements as well.
"We envision the potential capability of OurNotes to range from allowing patients to, for example, add a list of topics or questions they'd like to cover during an upcoming visit, creating efficiency in that visit, to inviting patient to review and sign off on notes after a visit as way to ensure that patients and clinicians are on the same page," Walker said. She also added that this sort of setup will likely make treatments specific and more effective while granting the patients greater agency.
Different medical centers across the country that need professional guidance can start by reaching out to a long term care consultant. Improving the worth of records systems could help care providers make these systems less complicated and focus more on the benefits that they can provide everyone involved, patient and provider alike.