October is, among other things, patient-centered care awareness month. At AJN, we’ve been focusing on patient-centered care for some time, most recently by virtue of our collaboration on a series of articles with Planetree, a nonprofit that “facilitates patient-centered care in healing environments.” The first article, Creating a Patient-Centered System, appeared in March 2009; the final article (from which we took the image above) was published in September 2010, and they’re all available in a collection on our Web site. Articles focus on such topics as creating quieter hospital environments and promoting patient access to medical records. We’re excited that this collaboration evolved into a four-part free webinar series supported by the Picker Institute. The final webinar, A Patient-Centered Approach to Visitation, presented by Planetree vice president Jeanette Michalak, MSN, RN, along with Wendy Tennis, BA, and Nancy Jane Schreiner, BSN, RN, will be on October 19 at 1 pm EST. We hope you will register and learn how to facilitate family visitation that meets patient needs. (The Planetree Web site also offers a downloadable toolkit and suggestions to focus attention on patient-centered care.)
By Christine Moffa, MS, RN, AJN clinical editor
We’ve all watched our health care provider writing or typing while we answered questions or described our symptoms. Before becoming a nurse I used to wonder what they were putting in my chart and if they got it right. And now that I am a nurse I can’t believe how often a medical assistant or nurse will take my vital signs and write them down without telling me what they are. How can it be possible that adults are kept from knowing their own or their children’s health information? Back when I worked on a pediatric floor my colleagues gasped in shock when I allowed a parent of one of my patients to look at his child’s chart. And I actually let them make me feel like I had done something wrong!
Last week this issue was the topic of a column by Dr. Pauline W. Chen in the New York Times, where two related blog posts (here and here) also received much reader commentary. The sudden flurry of interest in the subject was occasioned by an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine detailing the preliminary findings of a study following a national project called OpenNotes, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in which “more than 100 primary care physicians and 25,000 of their patients will have access to personal medical records online for a 12-month period beginning in summer 2010.” Readers’ comments ranged from one extreme to the other, such […]