Why it’s important for patients to look at their doctor’s note

Why it's important for patients to look at their doctor's note

When Pamela DeSalvo read the clinical note from her doctor’s visit, the words on the page hit her hard: “clinically morbidly obese.” She knew she was overweight, but seeing those three words together shocked her. It also inspired her to start losing weight.

“I needed to see it in black and white, what I actually in my heart already knew. It forced me to get honest with myself,” DeSalvo said.

“Reading that note saved my life.” Studies show that, indeed, reading your doctor’s notes can improve your health.

DeSalvo lives in Metuchen, N.J., and works in health information technology. In the years after reading her doctor’s notes, DeSalvo kept that experience in mind as she helped Atrium Health implement a system that allows doctors to share clinical notes.

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