Objective With the unprecedented rise of patient access to clinical documentation through electronic health records, there is a need for health systems to understand best practices for redesigning clinical documentation to support patient needs. This study used an experience-based co-design approach to inform the redesign of cancer pathology reports to improve their patient-centeredness and impact on patient engagement.Materials and methods Multiple methods for data collection and stakeholder engagement were used, including Delphi prioritisation with breast and colorectal cancer experts (n=78) and focus groups with patients with cancer (n=23) in the Seattle area. Iterative rounds of consensus generation and reflection were used to elicit themes and design recommendations for the development of patient-centred pathology reports on cancer care.Results Although each cancer type had nuanced elements to consider, common design requirements emerged around two key themes: (1) clinical documentation language should be framed in a way that informs and engages patients, and (2) clinical documentation format should be leveraged to enhance readability and information flow. Study activities illuminated detailed recommendations to improve the patient-centeredness of pathology reports based on patients’ and clinicians’ lived experience.Discussion The design requirements that emerged from this study provide a framework that can guide the rapid development of patient-centred pathology reports for all cancer types. Even further, health systems can replicate these methods to guide experience-based co-design of clinical documentation for contexts beyond cancer care.Conclusion This work offers practice-based learnings that can more effectively guide health systems in their clinical documentation redesign efforts.