The People's Perspective on Medicine

Do You Read Your Electronic Health Record? Why Not?

New research suggests that most people don’t bother to access their electronic health record. There may be one very good reason. Can you guess what it is?
Mature doctor sitting on floor leaning against wall in blue scrubs working on his laptop

Do you check your medical record online? A new study says that most people don’t (Health Affairs, online Nov. 4, 2019).  Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics have been offered financial incentives to adopt electronic health records and to offer patients access. By reviewing their electronic records, patients are supposed to become better informed and more engaged in their healthcare.

Are People Reviewing Their Electronic Health Record?

The researchers asking that question analyzed data from more than 2,000 hospitals around the country between 2014 and 2016. The vast majority of people discharged from these institutions–95%–were offered a way to view, download and share their electronic health information.

The envelope please: Only one out of ten people with such access took advantage of it. That is abysmal. Why don’t people read their electronic health record?

Some Obvious Reasons:

The investigative team found some unsurprising patterns. People without computers or Internet access at home were very unlikely to log in to their patient portals. Also, hospitals with a large proportion of low-income patients saw much lower rates of patient access than average. This has been referred to as the digital divide.

The study did not determine whether people utilizing their digital records access had better health outcomes.

However, the analysts concluded:

“Policy makers seeking to improve patient-centered care should therefore consider efforts to reduce this persistent digital divide by targeting both hospital- and patient-facing determinants of electronic health information access and use.”

What Is in the Electronic Health Record?

We have talked to a lot of health experts about online access to medical records. We were very active in helping Duke University Health System plan its initial electronic health record system. We had high hopes. 

Sadly, when the electronic health systems were rolled out around the country, the bean counters were firmly in control. They were very excited about creating ways for patients to pay their bills online. They were also thrilled to encourage patients to schedule appointments electronically. Test results were included in the system along with messaging systems that allow patients to ask a provider about lab tests and prescription renewals.

The Missing Information!

What you will not see in many electronic health records is the actual electronic health record of the patient. These are often referred to as “clinic notes.” Some of these systems permit a brief summary of the health condition, but rarely do patients see what is in their full medical record, especially the clinic notes.

The few hospitals that have adopted such a system call it “Open Notes.” This represents the nuts and bolts of each patient’s electronic health record. This is what the health provider thinks is going on. There is also likely to be a care plan.

When an Open Note system is adopted, doctors like it and patients like it. Despite its enthusiastic reception, most clinics and hospital systems are reluctant to provide this kind of inside information to patients. We don’t know what they are afraid of.

You can read more about Open Notes at this link:

How Can You Get Your Medical Records?

Would You Read Your Electronic Health Record?

If you could see your clinic notes in understandable language would you visit your electronic health record more frequently? Would you take the time to correct any mistakes? (By the way, they are surprisingly common.)

We would love to know whether an Open Note system is something you care about or whether you find this whole conversation boring. Please let us know in the comment section below.

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    About the Author
    Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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    Citations
    • Lin, S. C., et al, "Are Patients Electronically Accessing Their Medical Records? Evidence From National Hospital Data," Health Affairs, November, 2019, https://doi-org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05437
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    MY reason? I have come to despise having to “live through machines,” and I’ll only deal with them when I absolutely must. If I have any choice at all, I will NOT get on the computer for something, unless it’s to “Google” something I need info on or, yes, to check email which you simply have to have these days. But if I have to have log-ons, log-ins, passwords, user names, etc etc etc!!! then I’m not interested. Not worth it to me to have to beg a machine to let me in, or give me something. I will not beg some stupid machine for anything.

    I viewed my blood statistic charts this year and have made a couple of changes. One was that I started taking Red Rice Yeast to avoid getting caught up with statins, as I saw my cholesterol numbers rising. Will find out next year if it is working.

    Re clinical notes: If your doctor doesn’t listen and/or interrupts, then the notes may well be works of fiction. If a doctor says he/she has preformed a test which you have never had – and if it’s invasive and writes the results, you have to move mountains to get this expunged from your record. If the doctor has permanently left town days after you last saw him/her, and without your knowledge a blood test is performed during a subsequent procedure – and you know he did not order that test – you have no recourse. (You pay.) All of this has happened to me at my major, well-regarded medical center. Immediate access to clinical notes would have helped immensely in all these cases.

    Open notes would be preferable.In fact, I shut down my charts due to the lack of information AND incorrect info that goes back 50 yrs.! I’ve tried my darndest to correct it, and I was told, ” Too bad, part of your permanent record.”

    That would be a problem if there were an emergency, and I couldn’t communicate, and medical personnel would take the record as it stands. A huge lawsuit could ensue.

    So, I simply walked away from that system.Does me no good,even tho’ I know it’s all still on my record. Maybe after I die, things will be different. As it is, I much prefer my doctor talking directly to me. I’m tired of hearing ‘no time.’ They are getting paid to care for the patients they take on, and it wasn’t my choice they gave in to HMOs, etc. As usual, patients pay a huge price.

    Yes, “Open Notes,” with details in my on-line records would be both very helpful and and incentive for me to be more active in viewing my file.

    I never heard that these records were available to me until I read this article in The People’s Pharmacy. I’m especially interested in the Open Notes system and would like to see if my doctor and insurance co has it. I’ll check it out.
    I don’t have a computer at home, but I have my I-phone and I use the computer at the library.

    I am 72. I read and use My Chart on regular basis. Have not seen any “open notes.” My gripes re: EMRS include:
    – All care providers do not use same system.
    – Those who do should be able to merge prior med history but don’t.
    – Letters from specialists to PCP are not entered in record.
    – Discontinued meds are not removed from med list.
    – Adverse reactions to meds are not noted, and I repeatedly receive care considerations to take meds (such as statins), that had horrible impacts on my physical, mental, and medical well being.
    – I often receive phone calls and junk mail from Big Pharma pushing products related to my recent health care appointments. This leads me to believe my PCP, or my insurance compsny, is sharing info with them. I should be able to opt out of info sharing.
    – My PCP objects to my desire to be actuvely involved in my medical care; my refusal to take certain meds; and does not like my reading medical articles online, in books and mags, or info in this newsletter
    BOTTOM LINE: I want all the info I can get about my medical conditions, so I can make informed decisions about my healthcare. I should decide what’s best for me, not my doctor, not my insurer, not my pharmacy. They are providers only. I have to live with the results; they don’t! Give me all my info, incuding physician’s notes.

    My first thoughts about electronic & online medical records
    1. My internet privacy issues are a high concern to me.
    2a. Resistance by med people is probably anchored in one or more: their desire to remain sloppy/snarky/brief, etc. laziness…and, those pesky legal issues/malpractice.
    2b. Too many pesky patient questions would be asked…
    2c. Med terminology goes over my head…Greek to me, so what’s the use.

    I love the ability to read the Notes, thank you! Hats off to Duke! I also use this system to message with questions, check appointments, check medications, and I’ve used it to share Lab results with other providers Not on the Duke system. Trying to get a full picture of individual health issues is easier when I can understand the provider’s plan of care.

    Too many electronic records or all sorts. Already too many accounts, too many passwords…. utilities, auto-club, online stores, it is endless! Cant keep track of it all.

    It would be nice if there was one uniform system that I and my physicians could access. It seems like each provider and hospital operate independently regarding records. If this is not correct then there needs to be more education to patients.

    On the other hand, I am beginning to be concerned about the privacy of my records online from unwanted viewers AND hackers.

    I have wasted too much time setting up pass words, etc. for these records. Every single doctor’s office that has them just shows my name and weight. NOTHING else. Total waste of time to log in and read them

    I am angry that I do not receive the complete medical notes when I go to a specialist who is in the same system as my GP. My GP, who does receive the complete records, offers to read them to me if I am in his office, and I complain about not receiving the other doctor’s notes. I understand this is a widespread practice across the country. My first opinion is the physicians may be intentionally hiding the notes to avoid a potential medical malpractice lawsuit. Second, many clients such as myself, question the basis for the physician’s conclusion or lack thereof, of his/her diagnosis, and without that information, the patients are clueless as to what is in his/her complete medical records. I am thankful I do have a GP who will orally share the notes of the specialist with me.

    Both of my local university-related teaching hospitals (and everything they ‘own,’ like my Internal Medicine practice) use MyChart, and I’ve connected the charts. I’ve found them very useful, and they do include notes and instructions for aftercare. (I’m always given a paper copy at checkout–for folks without internet access). They even included photographs of a condition my cancer doc took to show me something!

    However, as many have mentioned it can be difficult to make corrections in the medications list. On my last visit to one of the hospitals I was asked about some meds I hadn’t taken for years–when the two charts were combined these were added from the other hospital’s records. Evidently the pharmacies are also connected to MyChart. As the PA said, that’s how they knew I’d gotten the shingles vaccine! I plan to take a deeper dive though, as I’m not sure my sleep apnea info and test results (from on of the docs) appear in the other hospital’s chart.

    My ophthalmologist places a copy of a continuity of care report in the online portal following my annual visit. I find it useful and interesting but it involves a lot of medical terminology. Fortunately, I am an intelligent person with a graduate degree (although not in medicine) and am medically knowledgeable. So the report does convey important information to me (and also to my PCP). I wonder, though, how helpful it may be to other patients in general.

    I think I prefer reading a report such as this, which seems to cover all the major bases, than wading through care notes. It would seem to be less time consuming.

    I would like to know all about my own health, so I would definitely like to have an Open Note System.

    I definitely read mine all the time. But I see only lab results. Many doctors’clinics don’t share much at all. I know some info only from the insurance company’s Explanation of Benefits.

    Before my recent annual physical, I answered 30 min of the long questionnaire from my PCP office. I found out during my appointment, PCP does not read my answers.

    He gave me a paper questionnaire to fill out.

    Finally took a look at my notes of #1 facility. Between the errors and misspelling I’ve decided not to pay attention to anything sent again.

    I look on my patient portal after every visit. Would be nice to see all notes.

    My doctor’s office does not have one.

    I keep up with mine, especially since I went on a plant-based diet. All of my blood work and health markers have improved.

    If Drs were able to spend more time with patients and explain the clinic notes, it would be more valuable, and I would read it !!

    I read digital medical notes. I share the frustrations with having to look at a different system, with different sign-in user names and passwords for each doctor. And, my physician recently moved to a different practice and a digital system that is a huge step down from previously (MyChart to AllScripts). HUGE difference. MyChart gives you the ability to view history, especially when it comes to lab results, important to me. Of course, when she changed, that history was abandoned. Visit notes are available, but sometimes contain things that were never discussed with me! Latest frustration is getting an email from AllScripts informing me they will share my information with third parties who can notify me of things that “will help me” medically. Share, that is, unless I opt-out, not an easy process. I think this must be 1984, not 2019.

    Yes, would love Open Note system. Getting access to all of my surgical, nursing, and clinic notes has been nearly impossible at a local hospital where I had 2 surgeries recently. I did get “Progress Notes” and wonder if that’s the same as “Clinic Notes.”

    I have a desk-top computer but all I know how to do is send and receive email. At age 79, I thought that was good enough. Apparently, I’m missing a lot but how do those of us with “techno disabilities” get past the “divide”? I’ve always thought that it’s the “technological language” that is just sooo impossible to comprehend and put into use.

    I find it too difficult to access records on my I Pad. Instructions do not always work for me.

    After a recent hospital stay I decided to look at my records due to several medication mix-ups at the hospital. I was shocked to see how many errors were in my record. I spent a lot of time going thru everything and writing down things that needed to be changed or updated and then went to the site to correct things. I spent a long time trying to find a way to make the corrections, and there was no way to make changes. It was access-only. I will not bother to check them in the future .

    We do not read our electronic records because we do not want to get any info medical, monetary or otherwise, online. With the hacking that goes on today, it’s not on your life! People tell us, “Oh, people have this info on you already.” That may be true BUT they didn’t get it from me or from anyone I authorized.

    Waste of time for me. What info that is available is redundant and useless. Nothing of value at all.

    Frankly, I was shocked when I discovered in 2005, that the electronic clinic notes were not being shared with patients! We were first taught to use them in California in 2000. Most of the people who comprise our ‘Care Team’ in Seattle send the notes to our email addresses, and an assistant also gives a printed copy of the notes to each patient. Unfortunately, in the email version, there is a number attached to each email. But when the email is read, the numbers are totally missing. Sometimes, I am notified that I have received three or more emails. Their current system will always need improvements.

    Too much of a hassle to remember which portals each doctor’s office is using. Then there are passwords which have to be created, remembered or written down somewhere. It’s more of a burden than it is helpful. I am not going to schedule appointments online. I am going to call the doctor’s offices. I only see each doctor once a year and take no prescription drugs. And from the other comments I’ve read on this board, what’s in my records would be minimal and probably wrong.

    My doctor’s office was bought by a medical conglomerate a few years ago, and anything previous to the acquisition is not in the notes. Since the acquisition, some of my visits are recorded, and some are not. It’s a spotty record at best, and I do a better job keeping my own notes on my own computer. Wish the e-records were better!

    This is helpful. I have long been dissatisfied with the scarcity of information shared. I too wonder what they are afraid of!

    I use My Chart all the time. I like to be able to read test results, but they aren’t always posted until I ask for them. Drs. notes are non-existent. I would love to read them to get a better understanding of what they write versus what I get told at times. Some of my Drs. are great at explanation, but I can’t always remember everything they say, so being able to read it on My Chart under “Open Notes” would be wonderful, but Notes is not provided. The one thing that usually gets confused is my medications list. I have to bring in a complete list each time because My Chart may not be reliable. I don’t mind, but if the meds recording is available, it would be nice if it worked better.

    It’s a pain. Signing up is like trying to get permission to get inside Fort Knox. Once an “account” is created not all my doctors upload information to it and not all use the same format to list information. If everyone used the same format, and all doctors actually provided the information, then I would probably check it. But then, I get all my information at my doctor’s apppointment along with a print out. So again, why bother?

    My partial record includes medication info but does not allow me to correct the errors. This continues to cause Rx problems.

    Thank you, YES! I think it is important because my husband and I shared a doctor once and he accidently switched our health notes plus mine info is often incorrect on the hospital info. I want to see everything.

    Without Open Notes your on-line medical info is pretty useless. You need to know what your doctor decides about symptoms, lab results, etc. Also the brand software my group uses is totally NOT user friendly! The office agrees but is of no use at improving the system. The billions spent on electronic records has not really improved patent care yet.

    I have “open” my chart information from two hospitals and three physician offices in the Illinois area of which I live. Basically, I learned nothing as the verbal is insufficient as to pertaining to the issues and mostly a waste of time. Family physician staff are not pleased with the system and made it obvious with their comments. Two local hospitals use procedures for reminders of what patient should be considering such as time of year to obtain flu shot.

    I am a LVAD patient and need to be well informed. Medical folks at the Un of Chicago are well adverse and contact me personally when I inquire.

    It’s funny patients don’t have access to their own medical records but Google does have access to thousands of records and patients aren’t even aware of it. Just saying.

    I have and do read my records. Not only do I check what the doctor says, but I have also looked at my insurance and Medicare records. Truthfully, I feel helpless! I found so many mistakes. For example, in my insurance record, I found a dialysis treatment, which both Medicare and my insurance company reimbursed. I do not have kidney disease and have never had dialysis. I called Medicare twice and my insurance company 3 times to correct it. It is still showing in my record. Records are good only if they are correct!

    I would like to review my complete health record. It would save time, I wouldn’t have to call the office for lab results. I have reviewed my cardiologist’s notes, but they are not up to date and they are are not complete. To have access to your complete medical record would be great. It makes for a well-informed patient.
    Helen O

    I am with Scripps Hospital in San Diego. CA and able to get appointments, labs and send notes to the care giver, but I do not have access to “Open Notes”. I would really like to see them. I am a retired physician.

    Yes. I would like to read my electronic record

    1. Incomplete
    2. Inaccurate
    3. Every time they change software, it gets more difficult to access
    4. They have no way to record some supplements correctly
    5. Don’t seem to connect with other doctors for the most part.
    6. Etc., etc.

    I am the “one in ten” and have been viewing my medical record since getting a computer. But up til then I would have been at the mercy of whatever my health care providers would send in the mail. I check several times a year and always when I get an email from my provider that there are “new notes” in my file.

    I would like access to physician notes. I do review and print test results and bloodwork online now.

    I would love to see my doctors’ notes! Seems the electronic health record was created more for the doctors / hospitals to schedule patients and post lab work and not actually for patients to review notes.

    Yes, I would read my electronic records.

    I always read my records. I want to know if what is in there matches what took place during my visit. I feel
    strongly that everyone should be concerned and interested enough in their health to be sure the records
    are correct.

    Yes, I want to see clinic notes, H&Ps, consults, etc.

    I read and copy every record I can get and summarize them in my own detailed history going back 50 years. My main objection is lack of standardization. Every time I see a new provider, I have to (manually) fill out yet another medical history. Why can’t I have just one that they will all accept? I usually give them a copy of mine, but there’s no evidence that they ever read it. I’m off to a specialized, nationally-known clinic tomorrow for a last-ditch effort to find out what’s going on with my failing body, and, sure enough, they want me to fill out their form (but I can’t write any more), and bring copies of all other providers’ records. My appointment schedule suggests they’ve allocated 30 minutes to digest all this (the packet is about 1 1/2″ thick), so it also tells me I could probably bring my dog’s veterinary records, and they wouldn’t notice. Very frustrating and depressing.

    I am a nurse who can only see my health care info in the “dumbed down” version of My Chart. If I try to see it any other way, I would be charged with a HIPPA violation and fined. I would love to see an open version of my electronic medical record.

    It would be very helpful if open notes information could be viewed by patients. It might also be helpful if a patient could challenge what she/he thought were errors.

    I get a summary of visit online which is also handed to me when I check out. This is 2 or 3 lines only. Maybe it’s useful if you don’t remember what the doctor recommended, but it’s very brief.
    Yes, I would definitely like Open Notes available from all my doctors.

    Northern California’s Sutter Health electronic records portal is really helpful to me as a patient. When I have a question, each doctor’s medical assistant gets back to me within a day, usually, and has the doctor e-mail me, if necessary. What a time saver!

    If I could see the real physician notes I for sure would read after every visit.

    This article tells you we should read our records but doesn’t tell us how??????

    It’s not “My Chart”, it is “Your Chart”. I have no ability to correct information or change any errors. In theory, I can delete read messages. I delete them, and the next time I log in, they’re all back. In theory, I can correct the medication list, deleting medications I no longer use, and adding new ones. I have done this several times. The next time I log in, the changes are gone. Forget about changing incorrect clinician notes. I don’t know who this chart describes, but it is not me. It is a form of CYA for the medical profession.

    I would like to be able to consolidate all of my MYCHART accounts and read about the visit in Open Notes. I do get some information there but not sequential notes on my visits. My internist does a remarkable job of keeping updates from all of my specialists and is easy to communicate with by telephone .

    Two comments. 1) Primary docs have to know a little bit about a lot of things. Patients who, like Jack (Nov. 15), see their own health as their primary responsibility use reputable medical, nutrition AND alternative websites to guide them. They are not hypochondriacs and can present their health concerns succinctly. Unfortunately, most patients are too often just told they shouldn’t believe everything they read on the internet. Open records would help these patients judge whether or not a doc is worth their time and money.

    2) Between the changes in medical coding and the limited time allowed for an office visit, there is little time for preventive medicine or follow-up teaching. If patients want more information, they’re on their own.

    I agree. I’ve had electronic access to PT notes after joint replacement surgery and have found a couple of errors, which the PT was very happy to correct. Some doctors may be more reluctant, but yes, what are they afraid of?

    I do check my online records and would appreciate the Open Notes. The records right now are pretty general.

    I check mine regularly and have corrected mistakes

    Yes, I want ” open notes”to be accessible.

    Yes. I want, and would use, “open notes.” Mayo Clinic does an excellent job with its open notes system. However, the patient info posted by my home community’s are very basic, to say the least. Open Notes should be a requirement for all health care systems. I am responsible for my health care. I need all the info I can get in order to do my job. Besides, in the end, we, the patients are responsible for paying the bills. As customers, we deserve to know exactly what we’re getting in the way of care. (I am not happy the Accession is now giving all data to Google, who will, in the end, use our medical data for its own purposes.)

    I would like to be able to read my health records on My Chart. I had a procedure done at the hospital recently and had to ask my doctors office to post my full hospital report on My Chart since they don’t currently do so automatically. I think all notes and reports should be available for me to view.

    I review my records regularly, which is really important. I am currently in the process of correcting my records and it’s not easy! Thank God there is no “preexisting conditions” issue right with getting health insurance or I could be in trouble!! CHECK those records people!!

    After my doctor’s partner and then my doctor both passed away I requested my medical records. I had to pay $65.00 for a barely legible copy. I was quite surprised at the comments from the partner, who I saw a couple of times when my doc was unavailable. He had written that I was too fat and would probably die of a stroke soon,
    among other insults. (My own doctor was always professional in his comments.)
    That was no doubt an anomaly, but I would still prefer to see doctors’ notes included on MyChart.
    A few of my doctors don’t use MyChart and in order to get even a summary of the visit they expect you to pay $15.00 to print out your records each time.
    As with so many things MyChart had such promise to begin with. I’d like to see it used for its original intent- to keep patients informed about their own health.

    I always go to my health record online to see what the doctor or hospital has posted. One of the reasons is when you’re in the doctors office you don’t always remember everything. This is a good follow up of what the doctor has said. I would like it to be more open with more information. I appreciate this question and hope To get better informed.

    – clumsy web sites with information dumbed down to a few summary items, apparently designed for low information screening on smart (haha) phones

    – incorrect / incomplete records

    – when the software vendor changes, chances are that historical data is abandoned

    I review my electronic health records and I would like open notes. One thing I dislike is having multiple portals.
    It would be nice if all doctors used the same system so I do not have to have multiple logons and passwords.

    I always check my records when they are made available but I am a Medical Technologist and can understand more than most people. Maybe a simple tutorial would be helpful for people with limited background in medicine.

    I have never been able to get logged in and when I have, been notified that that person is not my doctor, after several tries, I gave up

    i am in an Epic program in Seattle, Washington. We are not permitted in any easy way to view this…I am a retired nurse and I think this is a crime.

    Open Notes would encourage me to view my records

    Don’t know how to access this information.

    I check my health records one in a while both at the VA and a civilian provider; especially tests results. However, the information is scattered with links to here and there. Not exactly easy to read. Furthermore, Dr. comments or recommendations after a Dr. visit are never included.

    Hmm. The system of one of my caregivers has a place for notes, but nothing is ever posted there. But I know they have notes because they mention past history when I am being treated. Two systems: one for the doctors, another for the patient.

    I would love to see my health record contain open notes. I’ve looked, and it only contains a clerical history and info that I’ve entered.

    I do care, and I have corrected the notes of one of my physicians. My corrections lead to a different plan of action—to put off surgery until other measures were tried first.

    I have access to my EMR and read it carefully. I would definitely read the doctor’s “care notes” if they were available to me. I have noted information (mostly family and personal) that was incorrect in my records and had it corrected.

    I realize many consumers of health services have little interest in perusing their health records. But I am one of a minority (in several ways–I am also 81 years old) who sees my health as primarily my responsibility, with health care professionals to help me when needed. The more information I have about my health status, and its changes over time, the better I can fulfill that responsibility. I certainly favor the Open Note system.

    Yes, I would like “ open notes” and a clearer way of obtaining them on iPads or iphones.

    I am a user of Duke’s MyChart but would love to have access to Open Notes. I often wonder just what “secret notes” my doctors leave in my records or more detail information about visits. Patients should not be kept in the dark about their own medical assessments.

    I do go online and check my records. I find It very informative. I can get lab test results before I hear back from the Dr, which can take awhile sometimes. I can see my records from last years. Also, I can contact my Dr with concerns I might have about my health. This seems to be more efficient than trying to do it by phone. I get a quicker response. I feel that I am better informed with this process.

    Yes and not if it is dumbed down—“understandable language.” Language is not a strength of the people inputting information. Give the medical terms.

    I would LOVE to see both clinic notes AND explanations of lab tests. My doctors currently send me off with a visit summary–why is this, at least, not put online as well? Having to keep all those bits of paper is a real pain. And it would be nice to be sent a quick note along with the test results–e.g., “Hey, here is what all these numbers and weird abbreviations add up to.”

    I would absolutely like records to be completely available and editable via open notes.

    I would be excited to read my “Open Note” if I could, but alas, it is not available on the Carilion system. I can read the results of my tests, but NOT my clinic notes. Sad that as a very responsible person on MY HEALTH, I can’t see them.

    Yes, I would want to see my clinical notes.

    By default, access to my electronic notes section requires clicking on another tab. I can find no instructions that direct users to that tab and found it but trial and error. Now that I’ve found it, I always read the notes. Next question to ask my providers is whether or not all notes are there or only those they want me to see.

    This topic should interest all of us. I recently had to correct something fairly serious in my dentist’s notes, and something else in my opthalmologist’s. Now that Google, and probably other mega-aggregators, are collecting patient data, it feels like something to stay on top of.

    Of course, I look at my electronic records. How else would I know my weight was recorded as 50 lbs higher than it really was. And then there was the record that made me 5″ taller than I have ever been in my entire life. This would be funny except if I were comatose, the docs attending me would think I have severe osteoporosis. Then there are the supplements that I take that have no match for anything in their database even though they are not unusual or exotic. Thank goodness I am treating myself because the docs are still trying to figure out the thyroid, whether eggs are good or bad, and how many carbs are good for a diabetic.

    To me, having access to a review of my visit, either with my doctor or as an inpatient, is crucial. When I request that specific information I have found it does contain incorrect or missing information every time. Inexcusable but unfortunately it’s the norm. Even being able to obtain a copy of the doctors’ notes when requested is difficult or impossible at many facilities. Very frustrating if you’re a patient who is proactive in your healthcare.

    Yes would very much like to see an open note system.

    I am in my 70’s, my medical care has been conducted through face to face, telephone and written communication. As long as I can speak, hear, read and write, I prefer my medical care to continue through these means. Computers have limited use in my day to day life. It’s enough that my doctor types on his computer throughout my appointments. Let’s leave it at that.

    My husband and I always check our patient portals with our various health care providers. After a visit to a physician we ask for a hard copy of the notes on the visit or procedure for our records, as well. I keep a binder for each of us with all our records. We’ve moved a couple of times, so that info is critical for continued well-being.

    I have also prepared a health information document (1-2 pages) for each of us showing health conditions, surgeries, allergies, current medications (including supplements), and family history. We take a copy of this information to each doctor’s appointment, and it is generally very appreciated. You can always forget something (dates, dosage, et al) when you are faced with a four-page form. I just write “see attached”.

    I am also very sensitive to most medications, so I really appreciate the People’s Pharmacy and the info you provide on medications and their side effects – fluoroquinolones being the latest.

    Thanks for what you do.

    How do I know if what my hospital is offering me is Open Note?

    I would definitely read open notes. I switched specialty docs because he put incorrect statements in the part of the record that I could see. I do find that using the e-record is somewhat difficult because I only have a mobile device for my internet.

    everyone should read their electronic health records, because they are usually full of errors. “active conditions” contains conditions that were resolved long ago. if you cough during an office visit, it is put down as an “active condition” even though you didnt say it was a concern. if the nurse cleans your ears, you are described as having “otalgia.”people would be shocked to see what misrepresentations their records contain.

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