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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2014 Nov 14;2014:1884-93. eCollection 2014.

Providing hospital patients with access to their medical records.

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Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY ; Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY.


Being a hospital patient can be isolating and anxiety-inducing. We conducted two experiments to better understand clinician and patient perceptions about giving patients access to their medical records during hospital encounters. The first experiment, a survey of physicians, nurses, and other care providers (N=53), showed that most respondents were comfortable with the idea of providing patients with their clinical information. Some expressed reservations that patients might misunderstand information and become unnecessarily alarmed or offended. In the second experiment, we provided eight hospital patients with a daily copy of their full medical record-including physician notes and diagnostic test results. From semi-structured interviews with seven of these patients, we found that they perceived the information as highly useful even if they did not fully understand complex medical terms. Our results suggest that increased patient information sharing in the inpatient setting is beneficial and desirable to patients, and generally acceptable to clinicians.

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