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“The Patient-Centered Approach to Medical Note-Writing”
Christopher Wong
Sara Jackson
March 27, 2024

“The Patient-Centered Approach to Medical Note-Writing”

A new book edited by General Internal Medicine faculty focuses on improving health record notes.
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A book conceived in the summer of 2022 has been recently published by Springer. Edited by Drs. Christopher Wong and Sara Jackson, “The Patient-Centered Approach to Medical Note-Writing” focuses on how to write medical notes that are read by patients.

Drs. Wong and Jackson with the cover of the book, "The Patient-Centered Approach to Medical Note-Writing”

This work is a natural evolution of the OpenNotes movement, launched in the early 2010s when a study found that patients who could access and understand their providers’ notes were more engaged with their care and received more effective care. However, such medical notes must be written mindfully to avoid stigmatizing or harmful language (e.g., frequent flyer, drug abuser), whether intentional or not.

This book attempts to guide readers to chart a better path forward, concluding, “We as authors of our patients’ clinical journeys bear the responsibility to write with truth, fairness, and compassion.”

“The Patient-Centered Approach to Medical Note-Writing” has been a fruitful UW GIM collaborative effort.

Co-editor Sara Jackson explains: “This group of GIM clinician teachers have been working with and teaching about OpenNotes over the last decade plus (when Harborview was a site for the original OpenNotes study), so when planning the book, it made sense to engage our [clinical] teachers here at UW.”

Co-editor Chris Wong believes that books are an opportunity for faculty to work together in a mentoring relationship: “I feel it's important to provide writing and publishing opportunities for our GIM faculty. It gives our faculty the opportunity to work with each other on a project—a system Som Mookherjee developed very well with the books he has edited (pair a junior faculty with a senior faculty member).”

An ebook version is currently accessible via the UW Library. Softcover books and ebooks are available to purchase directly from Springer and other book retailers.

Book co-authors are Sheida Aalami, Jessica Bender, Russell Berg, Cody Gehring, Anna Hagan, Scott Hagan, Margaret Isaac, Jocelyn James, Jared Klein, Sarah Leyde, Kim O’Connor, Sarah Steinkruger, Renata Thronson, Jennifer Wright, Angad Singh (Family Medicine), and Jeremiah Grams.