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Pisciotta M, Denneson LM, Williams HB, Woods S, Tuepker A, Dobscha SK. Providing mental health care in the context of online mental health notes: advice from patients and mental health clinicians. Journal of mental health (Abingdon, England). 2019 Feb 1; 28(1):64-70.
BACKGROUND: The OpenNotes initiative provides patients online access to their clinical notes. Mental health clinicians in the Veterans Health Administration report a need for guidance on how to provide care, write notes, and discuss them in the context of OpenNotes. AIM: To provide mental health clinicians recommendations identified by patients and clinicians that help them effectively practice in the context of OpenNotes. METHOD: Twenty-eight mental health clinicians and 28 patients in mental health care participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences and perceptions with OpenNotes. A rapid review approach was used to analyze transcripts. RESULTS: Analysis of interviews identified three domains of advice for mental health clinicians: writing notes that maintain the therapeutic relationship, communicating with patients about their notes and utilizing clinical notes as a patient resource to enhance care. Specific recommendations are provided. CONCLUSION: Findings provide mental health clinicians with guidance from service users and clinicians on how to leverage clinical notes to maintain - and potentially enhance -therapeutic relationships in a healthcare system in which patients are able to read their mental health notes online.