KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Beth Israel Patients To Get A Look At Online Doctors’ Notes

A Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center project called "open notes"' will make doctor's notes available to as many as 35,000 patients online along with the rest of their medical records for a year, the Boston Globe reports.

"Amid the national push to computerize medical records and make them more open to patients, one of the most intense areas of debate is whether patients should be allowed to see their doctors' notes online." According to the Globe, "[T]he notes usually aren't readily available to patients because hospitals and doctors' groups fear that they will misunderstand medical jargon, take offense at a blunt observation, or worry unnecessarily about a precautionary test."

As part of the project, "researchers hope to learn whether the notes prove more useful than objectionable." A doctor who is leading the study told the Globe that patients often don't remember "what happens in the doctor's office" (Kowalczyk, 6/19).

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