Engaging Patients

NASEM Workshop Focuses on Improving Diagnosis for Older Adults

The Keck Center of the National Academies located at 500 5th Street, N.W., in the Judiciary Square neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recently completed a valuable 5-part series of workshops on diagnosis. The series, which is available for free on the NASEM website, is impressive for the range of topics and experts it involves, reflecting the breadth of issues — including patient and family engagement — that must be addressed to improve performance in diagnosis.

National Academy of Medicine (one of NASEM’s three academies) has made a point of highlighting the the central role patients and families play in diagnosis. In its 2015 report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,NAM highlighted patients in its new definition of diagnosis and in the first of five recommendations that resulted from the project:

Facilitate more effective teamwork in the diagnostic process among health care professionals, patients and their families.

The final half-day workshop, Workshop on Advancing Diagnostic Excellence for Older Adults, was held in July and is now available on the NASEM website. The videos, slides and other materials from all five half-day workshops offer thought-provoking learning about engaging patients and their families in diagnosis. The list below highlights sessions from the July workshop that may be of particular interest to the Engaging Patients.

The Welcome and Opening Remarks by Andrew Bindman, chair of the Planning Committee for the series, offers an overview of the series as a whole and of the diagnostic process across disciplines and settings including those outside of traditional healthcare settings, such as at home.

Daniel Yang, the patient care program director in diagnostic excellence at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (funder of the series), then explains that the program brings together two communities: one focused on improving diagnosis and one focused on improving the care of older adults.

After further introductory remarks by Terry Fulmer and Rani Snyder of the John A. Hartford Foundation, the program continues in five sessions. I started to indicate which presentations hold special relevance for patient engagement, but found that I was marking them all. Kudos to NASEM, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Hartford Foundation and all who contributed to this valuable resource.

Session 1: Key Challenges and Considerations for Diagnostic Excellence in Older Adults

Barriers to Diagnostic Excellence in Older Adults

Assessing Hearing Loss as a Communication Barrier During Diagnosis of Older Adults

Patient Perspective

Session 2: Strategies to Improve Diagnosis in Older Adults

Approach to Shared Decision-Making and Diagnosis in Older Adults

Assessing Cognitive Function to Improve Diagnosis in Older Adults

Improving Medication Use, Deprescribing, and Recognizing Adverse Drug Events in Older Adults

Improving Assessment and Acting on Mobility in Older Adults

Session 3: Equity in Diagnosis and Strategies to Mitigate Disparities in Older Adults

Supporting Person-Centered Diagnosis of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Older Adults
Improving Dementia Diagnosis in Older Adults of Color

Implementing Aging in Community to Improve Health Equity and Diagnosis in Older Adults

Session 4: New Diagnostic Technologies and Innovations for Older Adults

Improving Diagnosis for Older Adults through In-Home Sensing to Achieve Proactive Health Care

Using Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics to Support Diagnostic Excellence

Future of Technologies for Diagnostics and Aging in Place

Session 5: A Vision for the Future of Diagnostic Excellence in Older Adults


Susan Carr Susan Carr is a medical editor and writer specializing in patient safety and engagement. In addition to curating the EngagingPatients blog, she produces publications for the Betsy Lehman Center in Boston and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Susan lives and works in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

Susan Carr has 185 post(s) at EngagingPatients.org

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