90% of clinicians say patients would be offended to see what's in their medical records

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Researchers from the Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine, New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Aurora-based University of Colorado School of Medicine launched a study to gauge clinician attitudes toward expanding patients' access to their medical records, according to a study published in Nature on Oct. 5.

For the study, researchers surveyed 29 ophthalmologists, optometrists and nurses at the University of Colorado's ophthalmology department from April 28 to May 12, 2016, before open notes were implemented.

Seven study insights:

  1. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said patients would find medical records confusing and 79 percent said patients would struggle to interpret tests and imaging reports.

  2. Seventy-six percent of respondents said patients would worry more if their medical record access was expanded and 90 percent predicted their patients would be offended by some things written in their medical records.

  3. Eighty-three percent of respondents were concerned that patients would contact their office with more questions between visits.

  4. Eighty-six percent of respondents were concerned they would have to change the way they document in medical records and 55 percent of respondents were worried their workload would substantially increase.

  5. Eighty-three percent of respondents said sharing medical records would increase trust between patients and physicians.

  6. Sixty-nine percent of respondents agreed that sharing medical records with patients would increase patient satisfaction with their medical care.

  7. Seventy-nine percent of respondents believed patients would be able to help identify factual errors in their medical records.

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