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Feb 05 2015

When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write

rd0204ArticleWhen Patients Read What Their Doctors Write  by Leana Wen, MD
from Reader’s Digest (and NPR)

What a great empowerment tool for patients!  Read this article about how Dr. Wen works with her patients during visits to make sure their electronic records are accurate.

Smart Patient Takeaway:  This is a great tool for patients who want to be sure their records are accurate, or have interest in seeing what their doctor is recording about them. (Hint – that should be everyone!) In addition, it sets the stage for a good partnership with your doctor.

Be sure you have the information you need to access your records from home, too.  Then, each time you have a new appointment, or something changes in your record, log in to see what has been added or amended in your record.

If your doctor doesn’t let you share in the input and review process on your medical records, then take a copy of Dr. Wen’s article with you to your next appointment, then tell him or her you would like to participate in your record keeping, too.

Additional Idea:  Using your smartphone, or a small handheld recorder, record your appointment with your doctor.  This will allow you to listen back later to confirm that you remember new instructions and information. Tell your doctor you’ll be recording the session – politely, of course – but don’t ask permission. It is your right to record the session, and it’s a smart tactic, especially when information is easily confused.  (Asking for permission provides the opportunity for the doctor to say “no”.  Or, as Gramma used to say, “It’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.”)

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Do you have advice or a story to share that illustrates this post?  Please share in the comments below.

Want more great tips for smart, empowered patients?
Read my book:  You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes (How to Fix Them to Get the Healthcare You Deserve)

 

1 comment

  1. Kay

    Wish I’d read this prior to my doctor’s appointment. I was facing surgery for ovarian cancer and I had a lot of questions. I asked to record and was flatly denied. Later that day I was ‘fired’ for asking too many questions. Next time I will simply inform.

    I get copies of all my records. A subsequent surgeon flat out lied in my records (about something very easily verifiable) to justify giving me the bum’s rush.

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