In the face of limited resources and multiple priorities, healthcare organizations may question the value of improving and measuring the patient’s experience with care. Yet, regulatory trends and powerful healthcare market, combined with patient journey mapping, make a compelling case for improving the patient experience.
Recent research shows that any industry can benefit from mapping the customer’s journey, and the healthcare sector is no exception. The truth of the matter is, many healthcare companies provide excellent clinical care but fail when it comes to administrative experiences. By using patient journey mapping as a guide, healthcare marketers can implement processes and programs that deliver relevant and timely information and fill gaps that cause leakages in the patient experience. This practice can be helpful in improving pre- and post-clinical engagement, as well as further health initiatives of the population.
We at Quantzig, understand the predicaments healthcare companies face in providing a good patient experience. This is where patient journey mapping can help significantly but for patient journey mapping to be effective it is very important to understand which patient journey matters and why. And to help companies excel in the competitive healthcare industry, our team of experts has highlighted the benefits of patient journey mapping, challenges companies face in mapping patient journey, and a few important ways in which patient journey mapping can drive excellence and find indicators that are crucial to the patients.
Whether you are part of marketing, product development, or customer experience team at a hospital, a pharma company, a device manufacturer, or a health insurer, patient journey mapping should be part of your toolbox of customer research. If you would like to learn more about journey mapping, contact one of our experts today.
What is Patient Journey Mapping?
Patient journey mapping is an exercise that can be done by healthcare companies to better understand what individual patient experience throughout his/her journey. The patient journey map outlines all the patient touch points during every stage of the care journey and helps in creating strategic outreach that enhances patient engagement, satisfaction, and patient flow.
The patient journey typically consists of six stages:
- Change in behavior or lifestyle
- Ongoing Care or proactive Health
Using patient journey mapping as a guide, healthcare marketers can craft personalized and strategic outreach that keeps patients engaged throughout the care journey and encourages lasting patient-provider relationships.
Benefits of Patient Journey Mapping
Benefit #1: Helps in stopping care silos
Every healthcare company has blind spots that can occur anywhere, right from appointment scheduling to point-of-care to discharge and follow-up. When the workflow of the organization is mapped, these blind spots become more visible. These blind spots often lead to increased risk or a negative patient experience in some cases. Patient journey mapping can provide solutions to such issues.
Benefit #2: Guide patient expectations
Patient journey mapping helps healthcare companies to solve one of the biggest problems that a patient faces, which is, not knowing what is supposed to happen next. The unknown or confusing instructions the patient receives during their journey creates a bad impact on the business. Furthermore, this leads to a lack of adherence to their care plan.
Benefit #3: Uncover pain points
Patient journey mapping can unveil pain points along the way. A better understanding of the different pain points that a patient has within the journey can help healthcare companies to create an opportunity for improvements in operations and keep a track of patient flow.
Benefit #4: Connect with patients emotionally
Understanding the patient journey allows companies to better empathize with the patients. Patient journey maps can illuminate the emotion of an encounter and highlight the feeling of the patient about an interaction. These insights provide a better understanding of the organization of how to connect with patients on an emotional level to meet their requirements.
Benefit #5: Make the care continuum continuous
When patients are referred outside of any healthcare organization, there is often a gap in communication between providers. These gaps could be a result of technology, geography, and network among other circumstances. As a result, often the care continuum does not feel continuous from the lens of the patient. This creates opportunities for gaps in care, thus, impacting overall patient outcomes, revenue, and the bottom line. This is where patient journey mapping can help.
Benefit #6: Close-the-Loop
Communication breakdowns are at the core of most negative patient interactions. If the expectations of a patient are not communicated throughout the touchpoints on the patient journey, there are high chances that this expectation is not going to be met. Patient journey mapping can help in quickly identifying and resolving any patient issues. This can help in improving patient experience and create better efficiencies for your practice.
Benefit #7: Assists in continuous improvement
Collecting data of patient journey is important, but what matters the most is what you do with the data. Patient journey mapping helps in having the proper plan in place to examine this data regularly. Furthermore, this will help to understand recurring issues, systemic themes, and improvement opportunities.
Challenges in Patient Journey Mapping
Challenge #1: Investment
Healthcare companies to implement patient journey mapping into their process, need investment in terms of time and costs. This investment is required to capture the data from the current journey of the patients and their experience.
Challenge #2: Complexity of patient journey
Healthcare companies face the issue of complexity in the patient journey which makes it very difficult for them to know the point from where they should start mapping their patients.
Challenge #3: Lack of proper skill set
Businesses may not have the appropriate skill set to capture the required patient data. This makes things even more difficult and challenging. Consequently, companies end up collecting useless or least valuable data and cannot obtain desired results.
Challenge #4: Regular monitoring of the patient outcomes
It needs to be updated and validated to keep up with constantly changing user needs, behaviors, technologies, and developments in an organization’s proposition. There may be pressures on the business to deliver customer initiatives that can be more readily measured in terms of impact on the bottom line.
We understand the challenges healthcare organizations face with the changing customer demographics in the healthcare spectrum. Our analytics solutions provide best-in-class frameworks to assist healthcare organizations to get maximum sales and marketing support and insights out of every customer relationship and interaction. Request a free demo below for more insights.
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