Patients and families are important contributors to the diagnostic team, but their perspectives are not reflected in current diagnostic measures. Patients/families can identify some breakdowns in the diagnostic process beyond the clinician’s view. Bell et al. developed a framework with patients/families to help organisations identify and categorise patient-reported diagnostic process-related breakdowns (PRDBs) to inform organisational learning.
The framework describes 7 patient-reported breakdown categories (with 40 subcategories), 19 patient-identified contributing factors and 11 potential patient-reported impacts. Patients identified breakdowns in each step of the diagnostic process, including missing or inaccurate main concerns and symptoms; missing/outdated test results; and communication breakdowns such as not feeling heard or misalignment between patient and provider about symptoms, events, or their significance.
The PRDB framework can help organisations identify and reliably categorise PRDBs, including some that are invisible to clinicians; guide interventions to engage patients and families as diagnostic partners; and inform whole organisational learning.