All professions are nervous about disclosing their file notes and assessments, in contrast to test results which are just facts, not professional opinions and recommendations.
Relatively few issues, however, arose in this study of some 100 doctors and 13,000 patients. The only – and predictable – problem that caught my eye was over one-third of doctors used more obtuse vocabulary – body mass index rather than obese – the medical equivalent of political correctness. Contrast this to some of the unwritten notes voiced by Edwin Leap in Speak the truth, document the truth: To do otherwise is malpractice, posted earlier. Quote:
Northeastern University School of Law professor Michael Meltsner, 75, a longtime patient of Dr. Delbanco’s, says he has been privy to his notes for a few years while the project was under development. He says the notes helped him understand his options to increase his chances of survival when he was diagnosed with a serious medical condition.
“For me it is about owning your own health and taking responsibility,” says Mr. Meltsner, who wrote an accompanying editorial with a patient’s view of the project. His one concern: how to make notes available to older or disabled patients who may not have access to technology.
The study was “a brave effort at pushing the frontier of patient engagement in their health,” wrote Caroline Lubick Goldzweig, a physician at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and the University of California, Los Angeles, in another accompanying editorial. Dr. Goldzweig urged doctors to “embrace the concept while trying to identify the best ways to use it.”