Blog Want Improved Care Outcomes? Give Your Patients the Right Tool for the Job

Patients have a vital job: adhering to their care plan. All too often, patients take on tedious tasks that hinder them from accomplishing this job well done, thereby affecting their care outcomes. Empower and motivate your patients to stay committed to care by giving them the right tool for the job: shared notes in Plato.

Your patient, Mrs Tan, has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This chronic disease is manageable if Mrs Tan adheres to her care plan. Mrs Tan now has an important job to do: she must regulate her diet, adhere to her medicines, and monitor her blood sugar level. Managing her diabetes isn’t easy amidst a busy work schedule, looking after her children, and resisting food temptations around every corner. Effectively managing her care means doing a good job adhering to her doctor’s instructions. Similar to any job, optimal results don’t magically happen. Patients are more likely to experience improved outcomes when they are engaged and empowered in their care, able to communicate clearly with providers they trust, and receive efficient care support. Thankfully, this is possible with Plato’s shared notes.

Patients’ care challenges

Patients have to manage both their illness as well as their treatment (Gallacher et al., 2011). Adhering to care is no easy feat, particularly for patients with chronic diseases and complex illnesses. Each day, patients with chronic diseases may spend up to two hours or more managing their care (Jowsey et al., 2012). This task becomes harder when patients don't fully understand their health condition and care plan, adding friction to their care journey and deterring their commitment to care.

For example, imagine your patient has chronic heart disease. In addition to managing the effects of the illness, they must manage their care journey, which includes:

  • Understanding their diagnosis, test results, and care plan
  • Coordinating their care and attending appointments
  • Adhering to their medicines and treatments
  • Committing to lifestyle changes
  • Monitoring and evaluating their care progress

Generally, patients find it hard to retain verbal medical information, especially if they are elderly, anxious or dealing with overwhelming data (Kessels, 2003). Patients who don’t fully understand their health condition and treatment may turn to the internet for help—only to succumb to medical misinformation, particularly the elderly (Brashier & Schacter, 2020; Ohlheiser, 2020; Turner et al., 2018. Care progress and outcomes are affected when patients apply unreliable care advice from the internet to their treatments. Between providers, patients also frequently become “messengers” in their care—from physically carrying around their test results to self-reporting data. Not only is this taxing on patients, but it also creates room for medical errors, poor clinical decisions, and unnecessary testing due to recall bias. Patients frequently misremember or forget details pertaining to their healthcare, such as their test results and medical history (Topp et al., 2019).

The good news? These tedious tasks can be alleviated with the right technology. Plato’s shared notes simplifly care for patients (and providers), helping them get the job done in adhering to their care plan.

Plato’s shared notes: the right tool for the job

Empower and engage your patients by securely sharing select notes, such as summaries, care plans and test results, directly from your Plato EMR.

Imagine sharing notes with your patient, Mrs Tan, who has type 2 diabetes. After her visit, Mrs Tan reads her notes at home to better understand her diagnosis and care plan. Her notes include a list of foods she should avoid eating, her recommended exercise plan, and follow-up schedule. If in doubt, Mrs Tan can easily reference her notes for clarity and accuracy, instead of relying on memory.

What’s more, Mrs Tan’s provider has included information about type 2 diabetes in her shared notes, so she can rely on credible, clinician-vetted information, instead of data off the internet. Her shared lab results ensure Mrs Tan always has her accurate medical data on hand, which she can pull up at any time to reference for other healthcare providers within her care team. With her medical information in one place, care becomes more integrated and efficient for Mrs Tan, making it much easier to adhere to treatment and improve her likelihood of enjoying an optimal care outcome.


¹Accenture. (2012)
²Anselmo & Chimowitz (2016), Bell et al. (2018), Delbanco et al. (2012), Esch et al. (2016), Fossa et al. (2018), Ross et al., (2004), Tapuria et al., 2021; Vahdat et al., 2014, Walker et al. (2019) and Wolff, Darer, et al. (2016)
³Delbanco et al. (2012)

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Accenture. (2012). Most Patients Want to Self-Manage Healthcare Online, Accenture Survey Finds.  

Anselmo, M., & Chimowitz, H. (2016). Patient Access to Medical Notes in Primary Care: Improving Engagement and Safety. AHRQ.  

Bell, S. K., Folcarelli, P., Fossa, A., Gerard, M., Harper, M., Leveille, S., Moore, C., Sands, K. E., Sarnoff Lee, B., Walker, J., & Bourgeois, F. (2018). Tackling Ambulatory Safety Risks Through Patient Engagement. Journal of Patient Safety. Published.  

Brashier, N. M., & Schacter, D. L. (2020). Aging in an Era of Fake News. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(3), 316–323.

Delbanco, T., Walker, J., Bell, S. K., Darer, J. D., Elmore, J. G., Farag, N., Feldman, H. J., Mejilla, R., Ngo, L., Ralston, J. D., Ross, S. E., Trivedi, N., Vodicka, E., & Leveille, S. G. (2012). Inviting Patients to Read Their Doctors’ Notes: A Quasi-experimental Study and a Look Ahead. Annals of Internal Medicine, 157(7), 461.  

Esch, T., Mejilla, R., Anselmo, M., Podtschaske, B., Delbanco, T., & Walker, J. (2016). Engaging patients through open notes: an evaluation using mixed methods. BMJ Open, 6(1), e010034.  

Fossa, A. J., Bell, S. K., & DesRoches, C. (2018). OpenNotes and shared decision making: a growing practice in clinical transparency and how it can support patient-centered care. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(9), 1153–1159.   

Gallacher, K., May, C. R., Montori, V. M., & Mair, F. S. (2011). Understanding Patients’ Experiences of Treatment Burden in Chronic Heart Failure Using Normalization Process Theory. The Annals of Family Medicine, 9(3), 235–243.

Jowsey, T., Yen, L., & W, P. M. (2012). Time spent on health related activities associated with chronic illness: a scoping literature review. BMC Public Health, 12(1).

Kessels, R. P. C. (2003). Patients’ memory for medical information. JRSM, 96(5), 219–222.

Ohlheiser, A. (2020). Older users share more misinformation. Your guess why might be wrong. MIT Technology Review.

Ross, S. E., Moore, L. A., Earnest, M. A., Wittevrongel, L., & Lin, C. T. (2004). Providing a Web-based Online Medical Record with Electronic Communication Capabilities to Patients With Congestive Heart Failure: Randomized Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6(2), e12.  

Tapuria, A., Porat, T., Kalra, D., Dsouza, G., Xiaohui, S., & Curcin, V. (2021). Impact of patient access to their electronic health record: systematic review. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 46(2), 194–206.  

Topp, J., Andrees, V., Heesen, C., Augustin, M., & Blome, C. (2019). Recall of health-related quality of life: how does memory affect the SF-6D in patients with psoriasis or multiple sclerosis? A prospective observational study in Germany. BMJ Open, 9(11), e032859.

Turner, A. M., Osterhage, K. P., Taylor, J. O., Hartzler, A. L., & Demiris, G. (2018). A Closer Look at Health Information Seeking by Older Adults and Involved Family and Friends: Design Considerations for Health Information Technologies. AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 1036–1045.

Vahdat, S., Hamzehgardeshi, L., Hessam, S., & Hamzehgardeshi, Z. (2014). Patient Involvement in Health Care Decision Making: A Review. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 16(1).  

Walker, J., Leveille, S., Bell, S., Chimowitz, H., Dong, Z., Elmore, J. G., Fernandez, L., Fossa, A., Gerard, M., Fitzgerald, P., Harcourt, K., Jackson, S., Payne, T. H., Perez, J., Shucard, H., Stametz, R., DesRoches, C., & Delbanco, T. (2019). OpenNotes After 7 Years: Patient Experiences With Ongoing Access to Their Clinicians’ Outpatient Visit Notes. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(5), e13876.  

Wolff, J. L., Darer, J. D., Berger, A., Clarke, D., Green, J. A., Stametz, R. A., Delbanco, T., & Walker, J. (2016). Inviting patients and care partners to read doctors’ notes: OpenNotes and shared access to electronic medical records. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 24(e1), e166–e172.

Nov 26, 2021