Currently accepted at: JMIR Mental Health
Date Submitted: Mar 29, 2018
Open Peer Review Period: Mar 29, 2018 - Jun 6, 2018
Date Accepted: Jun 6, 2018
(closed for review but you can still tweet)
Open Notes in Swedish Psychiatric Care (Part 2): Survey Among Psychiatric Care Professionals
This is the second of two papers presenting the results from a study of the implementation of patient online access to their electronic health records (here referred to as Open Notes) in adult psychiatric care in Sweden. The study contributes an important understanding of both the expectations and concerns that existed among health care professionals before the introduction of the Open Notes Service in psychiatry and the perceived impact of the technology on their own work and patient behavior after the implementation. The results from the previously published baseline survey showed that psychiatric health care professionals generally thought that Open Notes would influence both the patients and their own practice negatively.
The objective of this study was to describe and discuss how health care professionals in adult psychiatric care in Region SkÃ¥ne in southern Sweden experienced the influence of Open Notes on their patients and their own practice, and to compare the results with those of the baseline study.
We distributed a full population Web-based questionnaire to psychiatric care professionals in Region SkÃ¥ne in the spring of 2017, which was one and a half years after the implementation of the service. The response rate was 27.73% (699/2521). Analyses showed that the respondents were representative of the staff as a whole. A statistical analysis examined the relationships between health professional groups and attitudes to the Open Notes Service.
A total of 41.5% (285/687) of the health care professionals reported that none of their patients stated that they had read their Open Notes. Few health care professionals agreed with the statements about the potential benefits for patients from Open Notes. Slightly more of the health care professionals agreed with the statements about the potential risks. In addition, the results indicate that there was little impact on practice in terms of longer appointments or health care professionals having to address patientsâ€™ questions outside of appointments. However, the results also indicate that changes had taken place in clinical documentation. Psychologists (39/63, 62%) and doctors (36/94, 38%) in particular stated that they were less candid in their documentation after the implementation of Open Notes. Nearly 40% of the health care professionals (239/650, 36.8%) reported that the Open Notes Service in psychiatry was a good idea.
Most health care professionals who responded to the postimplementation survey did not experience that patients in adult psychiatric care had become more involved in their care after the implementation of Open Notes. The results also indicate that the clinical documentation had changed after the implementation of Open Notes. Finally, the results indicate that it is important to prepare health care professionals before an implementation of Open Notes, especially in medical areas where the service is considered sensitive.
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