OpenNotes results are coming, OpenNotes results are coming!

Three years ago (!), I wrote this post (Now Reading: “Concern that sharing information with patients may cause sustained psychological distress is probably unfounded” | Ted Eytan, MD) that recapped what is now almost 40 years of reasoning, wishing, and hoping, that patients could have access to their own medical records. Remarkable to think that in 1973, 41 states required litigation for people to see their medical records.

Now, we are in the era of health information technology, 73 cents, and … the OpenNotes project (@myopennotes), whose results will be revealed to the world next week in a special summit in Washington, DC, USA.

Here’s what’s going to happen:

After a demonstration project in which over 100 doctors shared notes with 20,000 patients in three major health systems, project leaders Tom Delbanco and Jan Walker are ready to share their findings. Audience members will also have time to ask questions and interact with panelists who are at the highest levels in their fields. This event will provide a wide variety of perspectives (from consumer advocates to healthcare industry executives) and uncover why transparency and relationship building are at the forefront of healthcare.

You can RSVP if you’re in the neighborhood of Union Station by going here, and I am also told that the event will be webcast. I plan to be there in person, with multiple devices capable of tweeting :).

If you’ve read my several posts about OpenNotes, or if you haven’t, I’ll just say it here – I am a fan. So much of a fan that I have declared it my #1 favorite Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project, not just in the Pioneer Portfolio (@pioneerrwjf) but the whole Foundation – and if you know RWJF, that is not an easy declaration to make. Why this one? This tweet probably summarizes it best:

To build on that thought, I’m going to make a bold statement, based on the long history of this discussion and what it represents, and that is:

OpenNotes may be one of the most important investigations made into the patient physician relationship in the last 40 years, because it could set a new norm for collaboration and patient autonomy, in addition to physician autonomy, in health care.

We didn’t have to wait for electronic health record systems to test this ability; however, EHRs will make it possible to generalize and implement the results across a population, which is why they are a critical ingredient in this work.

Now it’s time to wait for the results, and hope…feel free to put your hopes in the comments, and see you/tweet you next week.

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Ted Eytan, MD