Partnering with patients and families living with chronic conditions to coproduce diagnostic safety through OurDX: a previsit online engagement tool

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023 Mar 16;30(4):692-702. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocad003.


Objective: Patients and families are key partners in diagnosis, but methods to routinely engage them in diagnostic safety are lacking. Policy mandating patient access to electronic health information presents new opportunities. We tested a new online tool ("OurDX") that was codesigned with patients and families, to determine the types and frequencies of potential safety issues identified by patients/families with chronic health conditions and whether their contributions were integrated into the visit note.

Methods: Patients/families at 2 US healthcare sites were invited to contribute, through an online previsit survey: (1) visit priorities, (2) recent medical history/symptoms, and (3) potential diagnostic concerns. Two physicians reviewed patient-reported diagnostic concerns to verify and categorize diagnostic safety opportunities (DSOs). We conducted a chart review to determine whether patient contributions were integrated into the note. We used descriptive statistics to report implementation outcomes, verification of DSOs, and chart review findings.

Results: Participants completed OurDX reports in 7075 of 18 129 (39%) eligible pediatric subspecialty visits (site 1), and 460 of 706 (65%) eligible adult primary care visits (site 2). Among patients reporting diagnostic concerns, 63% were verified as probable DSOs. In total, probable DSOs were identified by 7.5% of pediatric and adult patients/families with underlying health conditions, respectively. The most common types of DSOs were patients/families not feeling heard; problems/delays with tests or referrals; and problems/delays with explanation or next steps. In chart review, most clinician notes included all or some patient/family priorities and patient-reported histories.

Conclusions: OurDX can help engage patients and families living with chronic health conditions in diagnosis. Participating patients/families identified DSOs and most of their OurDX contributions were included in the visit note.

Keywords: communication; diagnosis; diagnostic error; electronic health record; patient engagement; patient safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Emotions
  • Health Facilities
  • Humans
  • Patients*
  • Probability