Suffice it to say, most patients never saw one note written by their physician or anyone else caring for them unless it was absolutely necessary or court-ordered. These things just didn’t happen. Doctors didn’t believe in sharing patient notes. Why?
The idea of including the patient in care and care plans is an ever-increasing demand and from more places in the medical community than ever before. Patients are part of their care team, whether they know it or not. Anyone can come up with the best treatment plan there is, but if the patient doesn’t follow through then it doesn’t matter.
Now that value-based care is on the horizon with Medicare, the need to help the patient feel well-cared for will be the goal of every provider who bills to Medicare for services. How can we help our patients feel better and engaged by sharing patient notes?
Sharing Patient Notes Decreases Non-Compliance Of Care Plans
An experiment took place regarding sharing patient notes. Long-held was the belief that sharing patient notes with the patient would not only not help them feel better but would cause undue stress to the patient. No one thought that a patient being able to read what was noted by the treating physician(s) would be beneficial in any way.
There are certain terms that doctors write in their note spaces that are largely unfamiliar to the non-medical person. What the experiment found though is that despite the medical mumbo-jumbo, patients actually felt more confident in their care plans than without reading their patient notes. The physician's notes, coupled with the care plan helped the patient make sense of why the care plan was the way it was prescribed when they saw the though logic behind it.
The group of patients who felt best about this new experiment of being able to read their patient notes was the most surprising of all; they were demographically the least educated, non-white, and non-English speaking. Why would this be? Being able to leave the doctor’s office, go home and read/and reread your patient notes could help you better understand your condition and what your treatment plan is if you have more time to take it in.
Pretty genius, huh? Couldn’t everyone do better with having all the information from your last doctor’s consult in front of you to review at your own pace? Do you remember everything the doctor says to you after you leave their office? Most people don’t. Sharing patient notes helps all patients understand their condition and treatment better because they have time to digest the information at their convenience.
The experiment also found that sharing patient notes created a better sense of confidence in the care of the patient. Patients who were able to read their patient notes had a better sense that the diagnosis and course of treatment were the correct ones. Being able to read their own patient notes gave them a better understanding of their diagnosis also. Sharing patient notes is a good way to increase patient confidence and their perception of their medical provider’s ability to provide excellent care.
Sharing Patient Notes Helps Patients Feel In Control Of Their Health Care
Care plans have to be followed by the patient. When a patient doesn’t understand the weight of their diagnosis and isn’t sure about their care plan, it is very unlikely to be followed. In the sharing patient notes experiment, a staggering 70% of the patients in the experiment said that being able to read their patient notes made them feel like they were in control of their own healthcare.
No one wants to be told what to do, especially if you don’t have any faith in the outcome of what’s being directed. Allowing patients to read their patient notes and actively participate in care discussions created a better outcome for patient follow-through and a much higher rate of patient treatment completion.
Monitoring and discussing the progress of a patient care plan is also key to the success of their treatment. If something isn’t going well, real-time communication can help.
What Can Medical Care Teams Do To Share Patient Notes With Their Patients Today?
Most EHRs are closed systems and not open to patient involvement in their patient notes. An EHR agnostic system is what is needed to make this happen nimbly. eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind to be a turnkey solution to sharing patient notes, care plans and instructions for the patient to review and even comment on.
What can you do to help your patients feel more in control of their treatment plan and get feedback from them in real-time on how it’s going? eCare Vault is positioned to be the very solution that best fits this need.
If you want to do more for your patients and their treatment plan outcomes, eCare Vault is the obvious choice for you. To find out more about how eCare Vault can help your medical teams, contact us today for a free demo.