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Letting people write their own medical records can help patients be more involved in the treatment, scientists say. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US found that patients could benefit if they are invited to co-produce medical notes, called "OurNotes," with their doctors, rather than merely reading them. According to the study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the practice may also benefit doctors by reducing time spent on documentation. "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," said John Mafi, from UCLA. "Piloting OurNotes will start at four centers in 2018," he said. To prepare for the pilots, the researchers conducted in- depth telephone interviews with 29 health care experts. Participants overall believed that OurNotes could promote patient engagement, improve patient-centered care and patient-provider collaboration, and possibly take some of the documentation burden off busy providers. 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, and list what they hope to address at the visit.
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