Open EHR Notes Pilot Expands After Positive Patient Response

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | May 14, 2013

After a pilot program that offered thousands of patients access to their EHR notes exceeded expectations in patient and physician satisfaction, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in New York and Geisinger Health System of Pennsylvania are widening the net.   More than 13,000 patients were allowed to view their entire EHR file using an online portal and electronic messaging, and nearly 12,000 of them viewed at least one note.  With a full 80% saying that open access made them feel more in control of their care, and 70% saying that they increased their medication adherence after reading what their physicians wrote about them, Beth Israel Deaconess will be rolling out access to its 50,000 patients who are already registered online.  Geisinger will be adding more than five hundred physicians to the program, as well.

The pilot showed that patient engagement is as easy as letting patients in.  While there was some concern that patients would be confused, overwhelmed, or offended by what their primary care physicians wrote about them, only 1% to 8% of patients among the three sites felt worried after reading their clinical information.  Sixty percent wanted to take open access one step further and edit their own notes.  Ninety-nine percent of participants wanted access to continue after the pilot was finished, and none of the physicians opted out, even when given the chance to do so.