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VA mental health clinician experiences and attitudes toward OpenNotes.

Dobscha SK, Denneson LM, Jacobson LE, Williams HB, Cromer R, Woods S. VA mental health clinician experiences and attitudes toward OpenNotes. General hospital psychiatry. 2016 Jan 1; 38:89-93.

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OBJECTIVE: To describe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health clinician attitudes toward and experiences with OpenNotes (also known as Blue Button), which provides patients direct access to clinical notes online. METHOD: A 35-item online survey was administered to 263 mental health clinicians and nurses from one VA Medical Center. RESULTS: Seventy-nine percent of eligible subjects participated. Most respondents agreed or somewhat agreed that OpenNotes is a good idea in general, but only half agreed that making mental health notes available online is a good idea. Most believed that patients will better remember plans of care and be better prepared for visits. Most also felt that patients will worry more and request changes in notes. Many clinicians reported being less detailed and changing the tone of their notes. CONCLUSION: As a group, mental health clinicians are positive about OpenNotes in general but ambivalent about the use of OpenNotes in mental health care. The results call for research on outcomes of OpenNotes use in mental health and to develop education and support to help clinicians adapt to OpenNotes.

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