Recently, we received an intriguing phone call. It was from a pregnant woman from Florida who was looking for a midwife, specifically one that uses Private Practice. She was currently receiving routine prenatal care, but something significant happened that made her explore other options.
She was visiting a pregnant friend in California who had just been to see her midwife for a routine prenatal visit. That evening during dinner, her friend got a message on her phone that a progress note had just been posted in Private Practice about her visit that day. She logged in to her account with her phone and started to show her pal all of the information about her care that her midwife shares with her.
Thinking about a recent visit with her maternity care providers, where she didn’t get a chance to ask any of her questions and was given a quick exam and a bag of vitamin samples, she told us that she realized there was a difference between the care that she was receiving, and the value-centered care that was possible.
She decided that the first step she wanted to take as a new mom, was to not only find a midwife, but to find one that uses Private Practice so that she could have access to the same level of information about her care as her wise friend in California.
The best news? We had not one, but two midwifery practices in her community that we could refer her to.
The OpenNotes Project
Midwives aren’t the only ones stepping up for transparent patient care. A very exciting study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation just published some encouraging results that won’t be a big surprise to midwives. The OpenNotes Project is a 1 year research and demonstration project involving Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) and their adult patients in urban and suburban Boston, Pennsylvania, and Seattle.
The researchers asked PCPs whether they would volunteer for 1 year to send their patients electronic invitations to read their outpatient visit notes online and to review these notes before the next scheduled encounter. (Sound familiar?)
69-81% of participating physicians thought open visit notes were a good idea.
92-97% of patients thought it was a good idea.
As study co-author Daniel Sands, MD, MPH, said during the presentation of the study results, “How can patients participate if they can’t see what I see?”
Both groups cited improved communication, patient education, and patient engagement in their own health care. The study authors conclude that “sharing visit notes has broad implications for quality of care, privacy, and shared accountability”.
We can add one more thing to that list…more business for midwives.