LOS ANGELES – Patients could benefit if they are encouraged to co-produce medical notes, rather than just read them, according to a study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Doctors at University of California Los Angeles Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that the practice, called “OurNotes,” enabled patients to contribute to their medical records with their doctors, adding material such as symptoms or medical issues they experienced since their last visit, along with goals for upcoming visits.
“If executed thoughtfully, OurNotes has the potential to reduce documentation demands on clinicians, while having both the patient and clinician focusing on what’s most important to the patient,” said Dr. John Mafi, lead author of the research, in a statement.
A pilot of the OurNotes program will start next year with patients managing chronic illnesses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, University of Washington, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and University of Colorado, Mafi said.
To prepare for the pilots, researchers conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 29 health care experts. Participants overall believed that OurNotes could promote patient engagement, improve patient-centered care and patient-provider collaboration, and possibly take some of the documentation burden off providers. The majority of participants believed the most promising approach for OurNotes is to contact patients before an upcoming visit and ask them to review previous notes, provide an interval history and list what they hope to address at the visit.