notes

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More US patients to have easy, free access to doctor’s notes

More U.S. patients will soon have free, electronic access to the notes their doctors write about them under a new federal requirement for transparency.

Many health systems are opening up records Monday, the original deadline. At the last minute, federal health officials week gave an extension until April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Britta Bloomquist of Duluth, Minnesota, has been reading her clinical notes for years, first struggling through red tape and more recently clicking into a secure online patient website.

“It means information about your care can no longer be hidden from you. And you have a say in your care,” said Bloomquist, 32, who has a rare type of arthritis that took years to diagnose.

WHAT’S CHANGING?

Patients have long had a right to their medical records, including doctor notes, but obtaining them could mean filling out requests, waiting for a response and paying fees. A 2016 law said delays and barriers must be removed.

If you already use a patient portal such as MyChart to email your doctor or schedule an appointment, you may soon see new options allowing you to view your doctor’s notes and see your test results as soon as they are available. You may get an email explaining where to look, how to share access with a caregiver and how to keep other eyes off your information.

Many people won’t notice a change. About 15% of health care systems already are letting patients read doctor notes online without charge. That means about 53 million patients already have access to their doctor’s notes.

WILL THIS HELP ME?

Studies have shown that patients who read their notes understand more about their health, take their medications as prescribed more often and feel more in control of their care.

That’s true for Bloomquist. Diagnosed with a rare type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, she had extensive surgery to straighten her right leg in 2018. She gets regular drug infusions and sees multiple specialists. It’s a lot to remember.

“I’ve become a health nerd,” Bloomquist said. “Reading the notes has kept me on the same page as my providers about what’s going on.”

WILL I UNDERSTAND THE JARGON?

You may have to look up terms. Or ask you doctor to translate at your next visit. And doctor’s notes tend to use abbreviations. “SOB” means short of breath, by the way. “BS” can mean bowel sounds.

And brace yourself if your weight is an issue.

“I’m a heavy-set person, OK? And their favorite word to use is obese,” said Rosie Bartel, 71, of Chilton, Wisconsin. “You have to get used to that. Doctors use that word.”

To Bartel, who became more involved in her care after getting an infection in the hospital, reading notes means she’s doing what she can to prevent errors and stay healthy.

“I don’t have to remember everything said to me in a 15-minute appointment,” she said.

WHAT IF I SPOT AN ERROR?

Patients do find mistakes in their notes and some errors

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More US Patients to Have Easy, Free Access to Doctor’s Notes | Political News

By CARLA K. JOHNSON, AP Medical Writer

More U.S. patients will soon have free, electronic access to the notes their doctors write about them under a new federal requirement for transparency.

Many health systems are opening up records Monday, the original deadline. At the last minute, federal health officials week gave an extension until April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Britta Bloomquist of Duluth, Minnesota, has been reading her clinical notes for years, first struggling through red tape and more recently clicking into a secure online patient website.

“It means information about your care can no longer be hidden from you. And you have a say in your care,” said Bloomquist, 32, who has a rare type of arthritis that took years to diagnose.

Patients have long had a right to their medical records, including doctor notes, but obtaining them could mean filling out requests, waiting for a response and paying fees. A 2016 law said delays and barriers must be removed.

If you already use a patient portal such as MyChart to email your doctor or schedule an appointment, you may soon see new options allowing you to view your doctor’s notes and see your test results as soon as they are available. You may get an email explaining where to look, how to share access with a caregiver and how to keep other eyes off your information.

Many people won’t notice a change. About 15% of health care systems already are letting patients read doctor notes online without charge. That means about 53 million patients already have access to their doctor’s notes.

Studies have shown that patients who read their notes understand more about their health, take their medications as prescribed more often and feel more in control of their care.

That’s true for Bloomquist. Diagnosed with a rare type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, she had extensive surgery to straighten her right leg in 2018. She gets regular drug infusions and sees multiple specialists. It’s a lot to remember.

“I’ve become a health nerd,” Bloomquist said. “Reading the notes has kept me on the same page as my providers about what’s going on.”

WILL I UNDERSTAND THE JARGON?

You may have to look up terms. Or ask you doctor to translate at your next visit. And doctor’s notes tend to use abbreviations. “SOB” means short of breath, by the way. “BS” can mean bowel sounds.

And brace yourself if your weight is an issue.

“I’m a heavy-set person, OK? And their favorite word to use is obese,” said Rosie Bartel, 71, of Chilton, Wisconsin. “You have to get used to that. Doctors use that word.”

To Bartel, who became more involved in her care after getting an infection in the hospital, reading notes means she’s doing what she can to prevent errors and stay healthy.

“I don’t have to remember everything said to me in a 15-minute appointment,” she said.

Patients do find mistakes in their notes and some errors are serious enough to affect their care,

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health

The most advanced Covid-19 vaccine trials won’t tell us if the shots save lives, expert notes

The most advanced trials for coronavirus vaccines cannot tell researchers if the shots will save lives, or even if they’ll prevent serious disease, a drug development expert pointed out Wednesday.



a woman smiling for the camera


© Reuters / University of Oxford


The ongoing trials are only designed to show if the vaccines prevent infection — and most infections are mild infections, Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the BMJ medical journal and a drug development specialist at the University of Maryland’s school of pharmacy, said.

“I think there are some pretty widely held assumptions about what we are getting out of Phase 3 studies,” Doshi told CNN.

“None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus,” Doshi wrote in the BMJ.

“Hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 are simply too uncommon in the population being studied for an effective vaccine to demonstrate statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people. The same is true of its ability to save lives or prevent transmission: the trials are not designed to find out.”

Four vaccines being developed in the US are in the most advanced, Phase 3 stage of development: those being made by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. They’re “event-driven” trials, meaning that the goal is to keep them going until a certain number of volunteers become infected. If more infections are seen among people who got placebo, or dummy shots, it’s an indication the vaccines prevented infection.

But that doesn’t mean the vaccines saved people from serious disease or death, Doshi argued.

“Severe illness requiring hospital admission, which happens in only a small fraction of symptomatic Covid-19 cases, would be unlikely to occur in significant numbers in trials,” he wrote.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets Thursday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials and what members would like the FDA to consider when reviewing any applications for either emergency use authorization for a vaccine, or full approval.

Doshi said they should consider asking the companies to reconfigure their trials to include data on preventing severe illness and death.

“People expect that the most severe part of the Covid iceberg — the ICU admissions and hospitalizations and deaths — that’s what a vaccine would put an end to,” he said.

But the current trials will just look for early infections. It’s possible to keep these current trials going and add onto them so that they will, eventually, answer the question of whether Covid vaccines save lives and prevent severe disease.

“The trials are ongoing,” he told CNN. “There’s a chance for that. It’s not too late.”

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health

Covid-19 vaccine trials won’t tell us if the shots save lives, expert notes

The most advanced trials for coronavirus vaccines cannot tell researchers if the shots will save lives, or even if they’ll prevent serious disease, a drug development expert pointed out Wednesday.



a woman smiling for the camera


© Reuters / University of Oxford


The ongoing trials are only designed to show if the vaccines prevent infection — and most infections are mild infections, Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the BMJ medical journal and a drug development specialist at the University of Maryland’s school of pharmacy, said.

“I think there are some pretty widely held assumptions about what we are getting out of Phase 3 studies,” Doshi told CNN.

“None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus,” Doshi wrote in the BMJ.

“Hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 are simply too uncommon in the population being studied for an effective vaccine to demonstrate statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people. The same is true of its ability to save lives or prevent transmission: the trials are not designed to find out.”

Video: AstraZeneca vaccine trial volunteer dies (CNN)

AstraZeneca vaccine trial volunteer dies

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UP NEXT

Four vaccines being developed in the US are in the most advanced, Phase 3 stage of development: those being made by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. They’re “event-driven” trials, meaning that the goal is to keep them going until a certain number of volunteers become infected. If more infections are seen among people who got placebo, or dummy shots, it’s an indication the vaccines prevented infection.

But that doesn’t mean the vaccines saved people from serious disease or death, Doshi argued.

“Severe illness requiring hospital admission, which happens in only a small fraction of symptomatic Covid-19 cases, would be unlikely to occur in significant numbers in trials,” he wrote.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets Thursday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials and what members would like the FDA to consider when reviewing any applications for either emergency use authorization for a vaccine, or full approval.

Doshi said they should consider asking the companies to reconfigure their trials to include data on preventing severe illness and death.

“People expect that the most severe part of the Covid iceberg — the ICU admissions and hospitalizations and deaths — that’s what a vaccine would put an end to,” he said.

But the current trials will just look for early infections. It’s possible to keep these current trials going and add onto them so that they will, eventually, answer the question of whether Covid vaccines save lives and prevent severe disease.

“The trials are ongoing,” he told CNN. “There’s a chance for that. It’s not too late.”

Continue Reading

Source Article

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