Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Inviting patients to identify diagnostic concerns through structured evaluation of their online visit notes.

Giardina TD, Choi DT, Upadhyay DK, Korukonda S, Scott TM, Spitzmueller C, Schuerch C, Torretti D, Singh H. Inviting patients to identify diagnostic concerns through structured evaluation of their online visit notes. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 2022 May 11; 29(6):1091-1100.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: The 21st Century Cures Act mandates patients'' access to their electronic health record (EHR) notes. To our knowledge, no previous work has systematically invited patients to proactively report diagnostic concerns while documenting and tracking their diagnostic experiences through EHR-based clinician note review. OBJECTIVE: To test if patients can identify concerns about their diagnosis through structured evaluation of their online visit notes. METHODS: In a large integrated health system, patients aged 18-85 years actively using the patient portal and seen between October 2019 and February 2020 were invited to respond to an online questionnaire if an EHR algorithm detected any recent unexpected return visit following an initial primary care consultation ("at-risk" visit). We developed and tested an instrument (Safer Dx Patient Instrument) to help patients identify concerns related to several dimensions of the diagnostic process based on notes review and recall of recent "at-risk" visits. Additional questions assessed patients'' trust in their providers and their general feelings about the visit. The primary outcome was a self-reported diagnostic concern. Multivariate logistic regression tested whether the primary outcome was predicted by instrument variables. RESULTS: Of 293?566 visits, the algorithm identified 1282 eligible patients, of whom 486 responded. After applying exclusion criteria, 418 patients were included in the analysis. Fifty-one patients (12.2%) identified a diagnostic concern. Patients were more likely to report a concern if they disagreed with statements "the care plan the provider developed for me addressed all my medical concerns" [odds ratio (OR), 2.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45-4.87) and "I trust the provider that I saw during my visit" (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.19-3.71) and agreed with the statement "I did not have a good feeling about my visit" (OR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.09-2.01). CONCLUSION: Patients can identify diagnostic concerns based on a proactive online structured evaluation of visit notes. This surveillance strategy could potentially improve transparency in the diagnostic process.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.