News Feature | December 2, 2015

Open Notes Improves Medication Adherence

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

How EHR Prior Authorization Can Help Your Health IT Clients Promote Medication Adherence

A pilot project testing the effectiveness of the Open Notes program found it had a positive effect on medication adherence.

According to a two-year study conducted by Geisinger Health System, the Open Notes program increased medication adherence in 5 percent of those who used it.

“Providing patients access to their doctors’ notes and reminding them to read them before visiting their doctor is key to reinforcing the doctors’ rationale for prescribing specific medications and dosage,” said Eric A. Wright, PharmD, MPH, a research investigator at Geisinger’s Center for Health Research, associate professor of pharmacy practice at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, and the study’s lead investigator, according to Health IT Analytics.

Healthcare IT News reports data from 2,147 adult patients taking cholesterol or hypertension control medications was used for the study. Nearly 80 percent of patients in the study adhered to their physician’s advice when provided access to personalized online examination notes.

“We demonstrated that encouraging patients to utilize a web portal to view their doctors’ notes is a cost effective and efficient way to influence medication-taking behavior,” added Wright. “Based on this study and our prior OpenNotes reports, increasing patient access to fully transparent doctors’ notes should be on the radar screen of all health care providers.”

iHealth Beat notes “patient access to doctors’ notes through their EHRs had less of an effect among patients taking cholesterol-controlling medications. However, participating doctors said that finding could be attributed to a number of documentation issues.”