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      Patients’ online access to their electronic health records and linked online services: a systematic review in primary care

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          Abstract

          Online access to medical records by patients can potentially enhance provision of patient-centred care and improve satisfaction. However, online access and services may also prove to be an additional burden for the healthcare provider.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Inviting patients to read their doctors' notes: a quasi-experimental study and a look ahead.

          Little information exists about what primary care physicians (PCPs) and patients experience if patients are invited to read their doctors' office notes. To evaluate the effect on doctors and patients of facilitating patient access to visit notes over secure Internet portals. Quasi-experimental trial of PCPs and patient volunteers in a year-long program that provided patients with electronic links to their doctors' notes. Primary care practices at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Massachusetts, Geisinger Health System (GHS) in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center (HMC) in Washington. 105 PCPs and 13 564 of their patients who had at least 1 completed note available during the intervention period. Portal use and electronic messaging by patients and surveys focusing on participants' perceptions of behaviors, benefits, and negative consequences. 11 797 of 13 564 patients with visit notes available opened at least 1 note (84% at BIDMC, 92% at GHS, and 47% at HMC). Of 5391 patients who opened at least 1 note and completed a postintervention survey, 77% to 87% across the 3 sites reported that open notes helped them feel more in control of their care; 60% to 78% of those taking medications reported increased medication adherence; 26% to 36% had privacy concerns; 1% to 8% reported that the notes caused confusion, worry, or offense; and 20% to 42% reported sharing notes with others. The volume of electronic messages from patients did not change. After the intervention, few doctors reported longer visits (0% to 5%) or more time addressing patients' questions outside of visits (0% to 8%), with practice size having little effect; 3% to 36% of doctors reported changing documentation content; and 0% to 21% reported taking more time writing notes. Looking ahead, 59% to 62% of patients believed that they should be able to add comments to a doctor's note. One out of 3 patients believed that they should be able to approve the notes' contents, but 85% to 96% of doctors did not agree. At the end of the experimental period, 99% of patients wanted open notes to continue and no doctor elected to stop. Only 3 geographic areas were represented, and most participants were experienced in using portals. Doctors volunteering to participate and patients using portals and completing surveys may tend to offer favorable feedback, and the response rate of the patient surveys (41%) may further limit generalizability. Patients accessed visit notes frequently, a large majority reported clinically relevant benefits and minimal concerns, and virtually all patients wanted the practice to continue. With doctors experiencing no more than a modest effect on their work lives, open notes seem worthy of widespread adoption. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Drane Family Fund, the Richard and Florence Koplow Charitable Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute.
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            The Kaiser Permanente Electronic Health Record: transforming and streamlining modalities of care.

            We examined the impact of implementing a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system on ambulatory care use in an integrated health care delivery system with more than 225,000 members. Between 2004 and 2007, the annual age/sex-adjusted total office visit rate decreased 26.2 percent, the adjusted primary care office visit rate decreased 25.3 percent, and the adjusted specialty care office visit rate decreased 21.5 percent. Scheduled telephone visits increased more than eightfold, and secure e-mail messaging, which began in late 2005, increased nearly sixfold by 2007. Introducing an EHR creates operational efficiencies by offering nontraditional, patient-centered ways of providing care.
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              Patients’ online access to their electronic health records and linked online services: a systematic interpretative review

              Objectives To investigate the effect of providing patients online access to their electronic health record (EHR) and linked transactional services on the provision, quality and safety of healthcare. The objectives are also to identify and understand: barriers and facilitators for providing online access to their records and services for primary care workers; and their association with organisational/IT system issues. Setting Primary care. Participants A total of 143 studies were included. 17 were experimental in design and subject to risk of bias assessment, which is reported in a separate paper. Detailed inclusion and exclusion criteria have also been published elsewhere in the protocol. Primary and secondary outcome measures Our primary outcome measure was change in quality or safety as a result of implementation or utilisation of online records/transactional services. Results No studies reported changes in health outcomes; though eight detected medication errors and seven reported improved uptake of preventative care. Professional concerns over privacy were reported in 14 studies. 18 studies reported concern over potential increased workload; with some showing an increase workload in email or online messaging; telephone contact remaining unchanged, and face-to face contact staying the same or falling. Owing to heterogeneity in reporting overall workload change was hard to predict. 10 studies reported how online access offered convenience, primarily for more advantaged patients, who were largely highly satisfied with the process when clinician responses were prompt. Conclusions Patient online access and services offer increased convenience and satisfaction. However, professionals were concerned about impact on workload and risk to privacy. Studies correcting medication errors may improve patient safety. There may need to be a redesign of the business process to engage health professionals in online access and of the EHR to make it friendlier and provide equity of access to a wider group of patients. A1. Systematic review registration number PROSPERO CRD42012003091.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                British Journal of General Practice
                Br J Gen Pract
                Royal College of General Practitioners
                0960-1643
                1478-5242
                March 02 2015
                March 2015
                March 2015
                March 02 2015
                : 65
                : 632
                : e141-e151
                Article
                10.3399/bjgp15X683941
                25733435
                © 2015
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