(HealthDay News) — Following implementation of electronically sharing office visit notes with patients, more primary and specialty care clinicians agree the practice is beneficial overall, according to a study published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
James D. Ralston, MD, from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a survey to assess changes in clinicians’ attitudes about sharing notes with patients. The analysis included outpatient primary and specialty care clinicians who were from a large group practice and had one or more patients who accessed notes (baseline survey: 400 participants; follow-up survey: 192 participants).
The researchers found that before implementation, 29% of respondents agreed or somewhat agreed that visit notes online are beneficial overall, increasing to 71% following implementation. From preimplementation to postimplementation, 44% of respondents switched beliefs from thinking it was a bad to good idea, while 2% reported the opposite change. Postimplementation change results were similar for all clinician categories. Postimplementation, fewer clinicians had concerns about office visits taking longer (47% preimplementation versus 15% postimplementation), requiring more time for questions (71 vs 16%), or producing notes (57 vs 28%). In both surveys, most clinicians reported being less candid in documentation (65 vs 52%) and reported that patients would have more control of their care (72 vs 78%) and worry more (72 vs 65%).
“As sharing notes with patients continues to spread across health care organizations, clinicians need to be better prepared to share notes as well as be aware of the potential benefits to patients and limited impact on their practices,” the authors write.