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Partnering with Patients to Improve Diagnostic Safety

Patient Safety Awareness Week Free Webinar​

Every year, diagnostic errors (missed, delayed, or incorrect diagnoses) affect at least one in twenty adults in the United States and cause substantial harm to patients of all ages. The diagnostic process is complex and so far, only limited effective interventions for diagnostic error reduction have been identified and implemented.

A particularly promising way to improve diagnostic safety is to involve patients and their families. Patients’ experiences can contribute to establishing research priorities to reduce diagnostic error, as they provide valuable insights that are complementary to that of researchers and clinicians. Throughout the continuum of health care, patients interact with a variety of health care providers from different medical specialties and in a variety of health care settings. Patients can also have a more prominent role in contributing to the development and implementation of interventions to improve diagnostic safety.

As part of IHI’s annual Patient Safety Awareness Week, join us for this free webinar to learn more about partnering with patients and their care partners to improve diagnostic safety.

What You'll Learn

After completing this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the opportunities and barriers to improving diagnostic excellence.
  • Establish the case for partnering with patients and care partners to improve diagnostic safety.
  • Identify 1 to 2 actions that your organization can take to improve patient and family engagement in improving diagnosis.

Opening Remarks

Daniel Yang, MDDaniel Yang, MD, is a Program Director of Patient Care at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation where he established the Diagnostic Excellence Initiative. The initiative aims to reduce harm from erroneous or delayed diagnoses, reduce costs and redundancy in the diagnostic process and improve patients’ outcomes through timely, accurate, efficient, equitable and patient-centered diagnoses. The initiative is focused on three clinical categories of diseases that contribute to a disproportionate share of harm from suboptimal diagnosis including acute vascular events, infections, and cancer. Yang is also a practicing hospitalist and a board-certified internal medicine physician. He completed his residency training at the University of California, San Francisco and subsequently completed a fellowship in health care systems design at Stanford University's Clinical Excellence Research Center.


Laura Zwaan, PhD

Laura Zwaan, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam (iMERR) of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Dr. Zwaan has a background in cognitive psychology and epidemiology and obtained a PhD degree from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. She is fascinated by how clinicians make complex decisions under uncertainty. Her research focuses on the clinical reasoning process and the cognitive causes of diagnostic errors. Dr. Zwaan received several grants and awards for her research, including prestigious personal VENI grant from the Netherlands Scientific Organization. She initiated the European Diagnostic Error in Medicine conferences and was the main organizer and chair of the 1st European conference in Rotterdam in 2016 and the co-chair for the conference in Bern, Switzerland (2018). Dr. Zwaan is an active member of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) and has been on the scientific committee for the Diagnostic Error in Medicine conferences for 8 years (2011-2018) and she served as the chair of the SIDM research committee (2015-2017).

Susan E. Sheridan, MIM, MBA, DHL Susan E. Sheridan, MIM, MBA, DHL, is a Founding Member of Patients for Patient Safety (PFPS) US and the Director of Patient Engagement Emeritus at the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). In 2022, Sheridan was appointed to the Patient Safety Working Group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Prior to her current roles, she served as the Patient and Family Engagement Adviser in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Director of Patient Engagement of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and led the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Patients for Patient Safety initiative, a program under the World Health Organization (WHO) Patient Safety Program. Sheridan had previously spent 10 years in patient advocacy inspired by adverse family experiences in the healthcare system. Sheridan is Co-Founder and Past President of Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus (PICK) as well as Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS). Sheridan was the lead author on The PCORI Engagement Rubric: Promising Practices for Partnering in Research; The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Perspective’s What If?: Transforming Diagnostic Research by Leveraging a Diagnostic Process Map to Engage Patients in Learning from Errors and the WHO Action Framework for Patient and Family Engagement and Implementation Guide (In press) She speaks frequently on democratizing healthcare by engaging patients and family members as decision makers in the design of healthcare research, policy, medical professions education and in improving health care systems at national and international events. In April 2009, Sheridan was named to Modern Healthcare's list of Top 25 Women in Healthcare as well as Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare. In 2010 Sheridan was awarded the “Idaho Healthcare Hero” in community outreach by the Idaho Business Review and in 2011 Sheridan was appointed by The Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality of the Health Resources and Services Administration. She also served on the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) CLIAC Federal Advisory Council and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Board of Directors as a Public Director. In 2022 she was awarded the Mark Graber Award of Excellence by SIDM. Sheridan and her family have been featured in USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times and in the international documentaries, Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm and To Err is Human. Sheridan received her BA from Albion College, her MIM and MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and her Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Adrian College. She has a professional background in international banking and served in Ecuador with her late husband, Pat, as Peace Corps volunteers.


Kathryn McDonald, MD Kathryn McDonald, MD, works at Johns Hopkins University as the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality and Safety. She holds primary appointments in the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, as well as academic affiliations in business, public health and engineering. She is Co-Director of the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence. Research products include over 100 evidence-based national quality, prevention and safety measures for improving care and reducing inequities. She has also authored seminal publications on coordination of care, patient safety practices and quality improvement strategies. Her contributions rely on insights from partnering with patients, frontline clinical teams, and delivery system leaders. Dr. McDonald has served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making, and as a member of the National Academy of Medicine and National Quality Forum committees charting new territory in diagnostic quality and safety. 

​Continuing Education

Jointly-Accredited-Provider-TM_fw.png In support of improving patient care, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

This program is approved to provide 1 credit for physicians, nurses, and Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) recertification. 


In order to be eligible for a continuing education certificate, attendees must complete the online evaluation within 30 days of the continuing education activity. After this period, you will be unable to receive a certificate. 

Continuing education credits will not be awarded for non-educational activities, including (but not limited to) meals, breaks, and receptions. ​​​​