Program gives patients online access to doctor's notes

GRAFTON (WITI) -- A relatively new program is coming to doctor offices all over the county. Now Columbia St. Mary's Medical Center in Grafton is picking it up.

It's called CSM Connect Open Notes. It gives enrolled patients online access to their medical records, and to their doctor's notes.

Doctors say one challenge can be the fact that can be time-consuming.

“I’ve tried to start putting in a little bit of what’s called anticipatory guidance, so something like if this, maybe we should think of that, or you should do that. Definitely try to step myself, my colleagues and the patient through the next several steps,” explained Dr. Adam King with Columbia Saint Mary’s Medical Center.

But Dr. Adam King said it is time well spent.  He explained that it gives the patient more ownership to their health, and it also can lead to health improvements.

“If you came in for a cough and cold kind of thing and I said here's some medications that will help you but here are some next steps or some things that you can try at home that we don’t always include in a handout or we don't always customize for every patient, but that note is customized and you could go back to that,” said Dr. King.

Patients like Andrea Rosin agree. If she misses anything during an appointment, or just wants more details, she can sign on and access it from home on her own time.

“I can go back and look, he has written down what he's talked about, access it again and make sure I know everything I need to know,” said Andrea Rosin.

Rosin says it saves time as well, because she doesn’t always need to call the doctor or make an appointment to answer any questions she might have. She uses the program for both herself, and for her three kids.

“The notes the doctors will post has information about their appointment, about what we've talked about, but it also talks about things that are pertinent to their age group,” explained Rosin.

To learn more about the program at Columbia St. Mary's, call (414) 963-WELL (9355).

This is a growing program, so ask your doctor or medical center if they have adopted it yet or plan to in the future.