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Should OpenNotes be made a standard of care?

Jan
02

Date: January 2nd, 2014

Why clinicians should support the OpenNotes concept?The fundamental OpenNotes tenets aim at ensuring that patients are able to access their notes from their physicians within some few years to come. This will have a great value in overall, not just ethically but also in promoting better health outcomes. For this reason, OpenNotes are truly a no brainer. For this reason, I didn’t give a concrete view on whether OpenNotes should be made the standard of health care or not. There is no doubt that it should. After all, it is information about the patient and their health that is at stake. Actually, it is really scandalous that patients have been unable to have access to their medical information for such a long time.

Transparency in medical care

In addition, the lack of transparency in health care has proved to be very family to both patients and their families. In most cases, patients aren’t given information about the diagnoses of their condition. I never realized that most of the diagnoses which I have encountered routinely are anemia, dementia, depression and chronic renal insufficiency. Due to the lack of this critical information, many times I have come across some families that are yet to plan for their continued cognitive decline, patients that exacerbate kidney illness by taking NSAIDs that are sold over the counter, questionably depressed people who never understand why the physician gave then an SSRI and so on.

To summarize this, the present state of affairs where patients have no access to clinical information concerning them is definitely a major problem. This is because it can seriously cripple, sometimes fatally, the ability of patients to contribute to their own care and ensure that the medical care they receive is individually centered and a perfect fit for their personal values. In this regard, there is no doubt that deciding to go the OpenNotes way offers great support to patients and clinicians. Actually, we shouldn’t really be talking of whether we need to allow access to the clinical notes. We should be talking about how we can hammer the details out rather than spending many years rigorously planning for any kind of eventuality.

The impacts of OpenNotes on health care

There is need to engage in constructive conversations on how implementation of OpenNotes is going to be successful for both the clinicians and patients. Our main priority why we should open up OpenNotes is to foster effective collaboration and association between clinicians and patients and to support patients. By making the patients more informed, we are able to make them actively engaged in their own medical care. Most clinicians are fascinated about the idea of OpenNotes as they are sustainable and very effective. Clinicians have a duty of stepping up and embracing transparency, person centered care and collaboration in the health care sector.

 

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