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TRANSPARENCY: Should you let patients read their notes?

Advantages and disadvantages of allowing patients to read the notes that physicians and other providers write about their office visits and hospital care are explored in this short Modern Healthcare article.  The movement towards greater transparency of care is explored further on the website OpenNotes.  Here are some of the providers that are exploring this concept.

Who is doing this?

  • Geisinger Health System (Danville, PA)
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston)
  • Sutter Medical Foundation (Sacramento, CA)
  • MUSC Health (Charleston, SC)
  • Harborview Medical Center (Seattle)
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Kaiser Permanente Northwest
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • UCHealth (Denver)

Sources:  Livingston, S. (2017, Jan. 2). Growing number of doctors allowing patients to read their notes. Modern Healthcare, 47(1), 14-15.  Click here for publisher’s website: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161231/MAGAZINE/312319982; and, OpenNoteswww.opennotes.org   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Posting patient outcomes on hospital website

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Philadelphia) has started posting 5-year survival rates, and patient volume, for patients with 4 common types of cancer: breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate, and in the 4 stages of severity of disease for each type.  The graphs compare Fox Chase’s patient outcomes with two other groups: community hospital cancer programs and comprehensive community hospital cancer programs.  Other hospitals offer cancer patient outcomes data in report format.  Examples include a detailed report on prostate cancer outcomes produced by Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute (Scarborough, ME) and a broader oncology data report from Riverside Methodist Hospital (Columbus, OH).


Clinical Outcomes at Fox Chase Cancer Center: Five Year Survival Statistics for Major Cancers, [accessed 1/31/11]. 

Prostate Cancer Quality Report on Clinical Outcomes: A Guide for Referring Physicians 2009.  Scarborough, ME: Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute, [accessed 1/31/11].  http://www.mmc.org/workfiles/mmc_oncology/Prostate_Cancer_Quality_Report_2009.pdfCancer

Clinical Outcomes 2008 Report.  Columbus, OH: Riverside Methodist Hospital, [accessed 1/31/11].  http://www.ohiohealth.com/documents/cancer/rmhoutcomes_2008.pdf