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Embracing Transparency in Psychiatry: The Impact of Open Notes


As the health care landscape rapidly evolves, the need for improved patient-centered care efforts is increasingly tantamount.

One such effort is the recent reforms to the 21st Century Cures Act, referred to as open notes, mandating health care providers to share visit notes with patients online. Implementing these reforms in psychiatric services is especially important, as the mental and emotional well-being of individuals hinges on effective, collaborative approaches to treatment.

Fordham GSS Assistant Professor Elizabeth Matthews, Ph.D., has just co-authored an article exploring this transformative concept titled “Open Notes Use in Psychiatry—The Need for Multilevel Efforts in Research and Practice.” The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry, one of the leading international peer-reviewed journals for clinicians, scholars, and research scientists in psychiatry, mental health, behavioral science, and allied fields.

Yaara Zisman-Ilani, assistant professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the College of Public Health, Temple University, served as co-author.

From the article:

The delivery of patient-centered care remains a priority for psychiatric services. Recent reforms to the 21st Century Cures Act, referred to as open notes, aim to support patient-centered practices by mandating that all health care providers, including those delivering psychiatric services, share visit notes with patients online. This increased transparency is expected to inform and empower patients and promote collaborative approaches to care. Support for open notes has been bolstered by evidence from a limited pool of early adopters showing that sharing mental health notes could improve indicators of patient-centered care, including patient-rated empowerment, mental health literacy, and therapeutic alliance.

Read the full text here.


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