OpenNotes: Transparency in health care



Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by the positive results from the OpenNotes initiative. After all, for the last several years, I have given patients their actual pathology report for every biopsy I’ve done (which numbers in the many thousands). I have had fewer than five follow-up questions from patients that I can remember. Pretty much all were legitimate, as I recall, including a wrong site error in a report.

Today, more than 5 million patients have access to their providers’ notes on OpenNotes. That number will grow. Our biggest risk is to not be involved. “Just say no” didn’t work for Nancy Reagan; it won’t do our cause any good either.

Dr. Benabio is a partner physician in the department of dermatology of the Southern California Permanente Group in San Diego, and a volunteer clinical assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Benabio is @dermdoc on Twitter.

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