Giving Doctors’ Daily Progress Notes to Hospitalized Patients and Families to Improve Patient Experience.
Hospital quality includes excellent physician-patient communication. The objective was to determine effects of distributing physicians’ notes to patients. Hospitalized patients or family members on 6 wards at a university hospital received daily a printed copy of their medical team’s progress note. Surveys were completed about the benefits and adverse effects of reading the physician notes. In all, 74% to 86% of patients or family members responded favorably that receiving doctors’ notes improved understanding of their health condition or gave them more control over their hospital course. Patient concerns about privacy or offense were uncommon, although 16% thought notes were confusing or caused worry. Note distribution had minor effects on physician note writing practice. Having patients and family members read their physicians’ progress notes is feasible and enhances patients’ understanding of their diagnostic and treatment plan. Notes supplement traditional physician-patient verbal communication practice and have the potential to improve the hospitalized patient experience.
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