Record secrecy raises risk of readmission

A survey of psychiatry departments at 18 American hospitals found that just 44% maintained psychiatric records electronically. 

Only 28% made psychiatric records accessible to non-psychiatric physicians.

However, at institutions that provided full access to medical records, psychiatric patients were 40% less likely to be readmitted to hospital within the first month after discharge. 

“The big elephant in the room is the stigma,” says author Assistant Professor Adam Kaplin. “But there are unintended consequences of trying to protect the medical records of psychiatric patients... You’re protecting them from getting better care.”

Int J Med Inform; online 20 Dec 2012