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Study: Patients report benefits from online access to doctor's notes

October 2, 2012

Giving patients electronic access to their doctors' notes may help them feel more in control of their care and increase medication adherence, according to a study reported in today's Annals of Internal Medicine. More than 20,000 patients at primary care practices affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA, and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle were invited to review their doctors' notes online after an office visit. Of 5,391 patients who opened at least one note during the one-year project, more than three-quarters said the open notes made them feel more in control of their care, and at least 60% reported increased adherence to medications. Few doctors reported longer visits or more time addressing patients' questions outside of visits, and none elected to stop providing access to notes after the study ended. For more on the project, visit www.myopennotes.org.