Last month, I wrote a post about a report that showed that while patients are only too eager to communicate with their physicians online, the latter don’t have the ability to do so.
I called it the great healthcare chasm.
And now comes forth evidence that the divide goes beyond just simple connectivity.
Courtesy of Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, I became aware of an experiment that the doctors and patients participated in three U.S. medical centers whereby patients were able to access their doctors’ notes after their visit. It is their utterly divergent view on the experiment’s effects on their care that demonstrates that patients and doctors might well be from different planets.
First the facts.
The three medical centers wereBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and Harborview Medical Center in Washington. A total of 105 physicians and 13,564 of their patients who had access to “at least one completed note during their intervention period” participated.
The patients could read their doctors’ notes through OpenNotes.
From the figure below it’s clear that while patients had a positive view of the program, the doctors didn’t. For instance, 70 percent of patients at Beth Israel, 71 percent at Geisinger and 72 percent at Harborview said that the OpenNotes program made them take better care of themselves. However, only 28 percent, 33, percent and 26 percent of corresponding doctors in those three locations shared their sentiment.
When it came to understanding their health condition, 84 percent of patients at Beth Israel, 77 percent at Geisingerand 85percent at Harborview felt the OpenNotes program enhanced that. A much lower percentage of doctors agreed – 41 percent, 38 percent and 45 percent at those corresponding locations.
Read the full figure below (responses in squares are from doctors) and read more details on the study at the Annals of Internal Medicine.
[Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net]