My mission is to increase the sense of balance patients, caregivers, and clinicians feel as they work together towards best health. Working together means relationships and communication. Sometimes I wish I had more face time with the professionals participating in my care. Paradoxically, although my relationships with my professional team are strong, I don’t really want more face time with them, it’s too stressful. Also my brain is not at its best during my face time with them. I make lists of questions often forgetting to ask some. Then my wife asks a question after the visit I never thought of during the visit. Secure messaging/email has helped greatly, allowing me to ask those questions, receive reminders, extending the communication beyond the face time. The Robert Woods Johnson sponsored Open Notes initiative extends the relationship and communication further, making the professionals’ medical record entries available to consumers. See this month’s Annals of Internal Medicine article and the Geek Doctor’s and the Society for Participatory Medicine’s blog posts. Potentially, access to our professional teams’ notes could help engage and inform us more in our care. The challenges extending this demonstration project include providers writing notes that are understandable by and useful to consumers, readily accessible electronic records, and a mechanism to ask questions, comment, and correct. Very exciting potential here. Stay tuned. Have any of you read your providers’ notes?
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