It has always been a issue whether the doctors should share his medical notes with the patients. There have been apprehensions that it would be interpreted wrongly by the patient and will add to his woes. There has been reluctance on the part of doctors as well to share this stuff.
Just now I came across this article in the New York Times –Should patients read the doctor’s notes? It is a nice write-up and informs the readers about the latest buzz on the topics.
I am giving a few excerpts from this page —it is really interesting!
This summer, researchers have begun the largest study to date of open access, aptly named Open Notes, involving over 100 primary care physicians and approximately 25,000 patients from three health care centers — the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., and the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. In the study, patients who have just seen their doctors will receive an e-mail message directing them to a secure Web site where they can view the signed physician notes. Patients will receive a second e-mail message two weeks prior to any return visit, reminding them that the notes from their previous visit are available for review.
“The note is really a story,” said Dr. Sara B. Fazio, a primary care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess who hesitated at first but is now one of the participating doctors. “The meaning of a story depends on the storyteller. Just because I write something down as my version of the facts doesn’t mean that they will be the absolute facts or that another person could not interpret those facts differently.” While physicians recognize that such differences in interpretation occur frequently, particularly across different specialties, patients may not. “A doctor’s note could come across in a very unexpected way to a patient even when the doctor wrote it with the best of intentions,” Dr. Fazio said.
The researchers are hopeful that their study will help to settle many of the longstanding issues regarding open access.