NEJM: Open EHR Notes Have A Bright Future As Acceptance Grows

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | December 12, 2013

Physicians are beginning to understand and accept the value of allowing patients to see the majority of their health information, says a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, and have fewer worries about what patients will do with that data as they adjust to a new level of transparency.  After a wildly successful OpenNotes pilot program conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Geisinger Health System, the idea of sharing progress notes and other EHR data with patients is becoming more mainstream as patient engagement turns into a key piece of healthcare reform.

While the pilot showed that the overwhelming majority of patients appreciated being able to see their health information and consequentially became more engaged in their own care, physicians questioned the ability of patients to read diagnoses information without getting confused or disturbed.  Some wanted to hide portions of the material, the article says, and mental health professionals worried about how patients would react to their assessments.