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The patient is in: patient involvement strategies for diagnostic error mitigation
  1. Kathryn M McDonald1,
  2. Cindy L Bryce2,
  3. Mark L Graber3
  1. 1Stanford University School of Medicine and University of California, School of Public Health, Berkeley, California, USA
  2. 2University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3RTI International and SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine, St James, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Kathryn McDonald, Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University, 117 Encina Commons, Stanford, CA 94305-6019, USA; kathy.mcdonald{at}


Although healthcare quality and patient safety have longstanding international attention, the target of reducing diagnostic errors has only recently gained prominence, even though numerous patients, families and professional caregivers have suffered from diagnostic mishaps for a long time. Similarly, patients have always been involved in their own care to some extent, but only recently have patients sought more opportunities for engagement and participation in healthcare improvements. This paper brings these two promising trends together, analysing strategies for patient involvement in reducing diagnostic errors in an individual's own care, in improving the healthcare delivery system's diagnostic safety, and in contributing to research and policy development on diagnosis-related issues.

  • Patient safety
  • Diagnostic errors
  • Patient-centred care
  • Patient education
  • Communication

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