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A Piece of My Mind
April 2, 2014

Let’s Show Patients Their Mental Health Records

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2014;311(13):1291-1292. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1824

Should we health professionals encourage patients with mental illness to read their medical record notes? As electronic medical records and secure online portals proliferate, patients are gaining ready access not only to laboratory findings but also to clinicians’ notes.1 Primary care patients report that reading their doctors’ notes brings many benefits including greater control over their health care, and their doctors experience surprisingly few changes in workflow. 2 While patients worry about electronic records and potential loss of privacy, they vote resoundingly for making their records more available to them and often to their families.3

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