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Ophthalmology Patients Interested in Online Notes

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 -- Ophthalmology patients are strongly in favor of accessing doctors' notes online, according to a study published online April 17 in Ophthalmology & Physiological Optics.

Bryan S. Lee, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional, in-person survey of ophthalmology patients at three U.S. eye clinics. Patient characteristics and attitudes to accessing their ophthalmology notes online were summarized. Data were included for 451 patients who responded to the survey.

The researchers found that 95 percent of patients thought that accessing doctors' notes online was a good idea, 94 percent wanted to see their clinic notes online, 95 percent agreed that online access would enhance their understanding of their eye problems, and 94 percent said online access would help them better remember their care plan. Overall, 14 percent thought that online access would increase worry and 43 percent had concerns relating to privacy. Most patients (96 percent) indicated they would show or discuss their notes with at least one other person. Compared with white patients, non-white patients were more likely to perceive online notes as a useful tool, but they were also more likely to worry and express privacy concerns.

"Ophthalmologists should consider offering online access to their notes to enhance doctor-patient communication and improve clinical outcomes," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to UpToDate.

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Posted: April 2017