Patient Engagement Increased by Jointly-Produced Medical Note Process

HealthDay News — Health care experts are supportive of OurNotes, an intervention in which patients and families co-produce medical notes with clinicians, according to a research letter published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

John N. Mafi, MD, MPH, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted 30-minute, in-depth, one-on-one telephone interviews with 29 of 30 invited health care experts to solicit ideas about the concept of OurNotes.

The researchers identified 5 major themes in the interviews. First, participants generally anticipated benefit from patients and families contributing to medical notes, and OurNotes was thought to provide an opportunity to promote patient engagement, patient-centered care, and collaboration between the patient and provider

Second, asking patients to review previous visit notes before an upcoming visit, writing a semistructured interval history, and formulating visit goals were the interventions most widely endorsed. Third, the experts noted that patients’ contributions to records should not increase workload for clinicians. Fourth, they noted that patients should not be pressured to contribute to their own notes. Finally, participants had many specific ideas about OurNotes, which could be implemented before, during, and after the visit and between visits.

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“With some important cautions, they believed that co-production of records could improve patients’ and clinicians’ experiences with care and perhaps improve health care value,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to a health information company.


Mafi JN, Gerard M, Chimowitz H, Anselmo M, Delbanco T, Walker J. Patients contributing to their doctors’ notes: insights from expert interviews [published online November 14, 2017]. Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M17-0583