OurNotes is the name of an experimental, collaborative approach to clinical documentation that encourages providers and patients to co-produce medical notes. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) suggest that this kind of participation in the healthcare life cycle will improve overall engagement for patients, while freeing up time for their physicians.

Taking this unusual approach to documentation is an unusual, though not completely unfounded solution to many problems that exist within the doctor/patient relationship. Among these issues are: paternalism, patient passivity, face-to-face interaction, and possibly fraud. Letting people to write their own medical records just might be what’s needed to garner more involvement in treatment plans, while raising their awareness of the healthcare ecosystem.

Speaking to the benefits “OurNotes” offers to clinicians, John Mafi of UCLA has said:

“If executed thoughtfully, OurNotes has the potential to reduce documentation demands on clinicians, while having both the patient and clinician focusing on what’s most important to the patient.”

Mafi has also gone on the record stating that “OurNotes” will launch an official 2018 pilot program in four centers. Preparations for this pilot involved extensive research and collaboration with over two-dozen healthcare experts and practitioners. This research was gathered via a few different methods including surveys, interviews, and even data extrapolation.

From this research, a primitive process was outlined. OurNotes clinicians are to contact participating patients prior to this visit and will request that they review previous notes, deliver an interval history, and list their priorities for the visit.

The consensus was that the most promising approach for OurNotes is to contact patients before an upcoming visit and ask them to review previous notes, provide an interval history (what has happened to the patient between visits), and list what they hope to address during their next interaction.

What do you think about OurNotes? Will it catch on, or will it fade away?

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