Publication Date



Applied Clinical Informatics


BACKGROUND: Patients and families at risk for health disparities may also be at higher risk for diagnostic errors but less likely to report them.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore differences in race, ethnicity, and language preference associated with patient and family contributions and concerns using an electronic previsit tool designed to engage patients and families in the diagnostic process (DxP).

METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 5,731 patients and families presenting to three subspecialty clinics at an urban pediatric hospital May to December 2021 who completed a previsit tool, codeveloped and tested with patients and families. Prior to each visit, patients/families were invited to share visit priorities, recent histories, and potential diagnostic concerns. We used logistic regression to determine factors associated with patient-reported diagnostic concerns. We conducted chart review on a random subset of visits to review concerns and determine whether patient/family contributions were included in the visit note.

RESULTS: Participants provided a similar mean number of contributions regardless of patient race, ethnicity, or language preference. Compared with patients self-identifying as White, those self-identifying as Black (odds ratio [OR]: 1.70; 95% confidence interval [CI]: [1.18, 2.43]) or "other" race (OR: 1.48; 95% CI: [1.08, 2.03]) were more likely to report a diagnostic concern. Participants who preferred a language other than English were more likely to report a diagnostic concern than English-preferring patients (OR: 2.53; 95% CI: [1.78, 3.59]. There were no significant differences in physician-verified diagnostic concerns or in integration of patient contributions into the note based on race, ethnicity, or language preference.

CONCLUSION: Participants self-identifying as Black or "other" race, or those who prefer a language other than English were 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely than their counterparts to report potential diagnostic concerns when proactively asked to provide this information prior to a visit. Actively engaging patients and families in the DxP may uncover opportunities to reduce the risk of diagnostic errors and potential safety disparities.


Humans, Child, Ethnicity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Language



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