Open Medical Records Spur Frank Talk Between Doctors and Patients

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From NPR: “As more and more doctors’ offices give patients electronic access to their medical records, both patients and their physicians are asking: Exactly how much of your medical record should you get to see?

Elsewhere in the world, patient ownership of medical records is the norm. When I spent a month in Botswana as a medical resident, patients walked into the clinic carrying their own paper charts, which I filled out during the visit and then handed back to them.

Theoretically, American patients have been able to see what doctors write about them for years. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, a 1996 law known as HIPAA, protects a patient’s right to see and get a copy of personal health records. In practice, though, formal records requests can take weeks to process and few patients take advantage of the option.

A growing movement is using technology to try to change that.”

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