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Article

Patients’ Access to Their Psychiatric Notes: Current Policies and Practices in Sweden

1
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, SE-75237 Uppsala, Sweden
2
School of Business, Örebro University, SE-70182 Örebro, Sweden
3
School of Informatics, Skövde University, SE-54128 Skövde, Sweden
4
General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA
5
Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, SE-75105 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Martin Wiesner and Björn Schreiweis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179140
Received: 13 July 2021 / Revised: 21 August 2021 / Accepted: 24 August 2021 / Published: 30 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Technology's Role in Global Healthcare Systems)
Patients’ access to electronic health records (EHRs) is debated worldwide, and access to psychiatry records is even more criticized. There is a nationwide service in Sweden which offers all citizens the opportunity to read their EHR, including clinical notes. This study aims to explore Swedish national and local policy regulations regarding patients’ access to their psychiatric notes and describe to what extent patients currently are offered access to them. The rationale behind the study is that current policies and current practices may differ between the 21 self-governing regions, although there is a national regulation. We gathered web-based information from policy documents and regulations from each region’s website. We also conducted key stakeholder interviews with respondents from the regions and cross-regional private care providers, using a qualitative approach. The results show that 17 of 21 regions share psychiatric notes with patients, where forensic psychiatric care was the most excluded psychiatric care setting. All private care providers reported that they mainly follow the regions’ guidelines. Our findings show that regional differences concerning sharing psychiatric notes persist, despite Swedish regulations and a national policy that stipulates equal care for everyone. The differences, however, appear to have decreased over time, and we report evidence that the regions are moving toward increased transparency for psychiatry patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; psychiatry; psychiatric record; psychiatric notes; patient accessible electronic health record; PAEHR; open notes; policies mental health; psychiatry; psychiatric record; psychiatric notes; patient accessible electronic health record; PAEHR; open notes; policies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bärkås, A.; Scandurra, I.; Rexhepi, H.; Blease, C.; Cajander, Å.; Hägglund, M. Patients’ Access to Their Psychiatric Notes: Current Policies and Practices in Sweden. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179140

AMA Style

Bärkås A, Scandurra I, Rexhepi H, Blease C, Cajander Å, Hägglund M. Patients’ Access to Their Psychiatric Notes: Current Policies and Practices in Sweden. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(17):9140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179140

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bärkås, Annika, Isabella Scandurra, Hanife Rexhepi, Charlotte Blease, Åsa Cajander, and Maria Hägglund. 2021. "Patients’ Access to Their Psychiatric Notes: Current Policies and Practices in Sweden" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 17: 9140. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179140

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