Would You Want a Peek?

by: cancercompass

Going to the doctor for a regular appointment is nerve-wracking enough, but how do you feel when your doctor looks down and scribbles furiously on his/her notepad? If you had a chance to look at all of those notes, would you jump at the opportunity, or warily refuse a glance?

A new project, called Open Notes, has been allowing some patients to see electronic versions of their doctors’ notes after a routine visit, email or phone call. There are certainly positives and negatives to this new initiative, assuming of course that these doctors don’t edit themselves now that they know their patients could be reading every little piece of information that is recorded.

For one thing, when patients see what doctors are really saying, they might change some of their bad habits. However, if the language in the notes is more assertive or negative than what the doctor said in person, will patients be less trusting?

According to a study, while patients thought the notes would be helpful, doctors felt that revealing these notes would simply cause problems. If it were up to me, I’d love to see what my doctor is writing as I rattle off my ailments, but then again, maybe some things should be left between the doctor and his notepad?

In the end, I’d hope anything that I needed to hear would be relayed to me during, or soon after, the visit.