A dedicated strategic effort to design and map the pathway that a customer/patient will take from diagnosis to aftercare and how they interact with the hospital during this time.
Mapping out the complete journey of a patient, from the first contact with the hospital until the last check-up is called Patient Journey Mapping. Patient Journey mapping is not a one-time off activity. The map should be continuously updated and improved upon.
Use patient journey mapping as a basis to improve health outcomes, patient experience and engagement.
For the medical team, the mapping of patient information leads to better prepared patients, which leads to less missed appointments, readmissions and (needlessly) cancelled surgeries.
Be sure to share information when it is most relevant for the patient to prevent an overload of information.
Patient Journey App provides patients with an interactive timeline through their treatment. The timeline is built up in phases such as pre-care, operation, aftercare which are in turn broken down in bitesize instructions on what they need to take care of on a daily basis.
Through push-notifications patients are each day informed on what they need to know, which improves retention of information which boosts compliance as a result.
Steps of Patient Journey Mapping
There are several sources from where you can get the necessary information to create your patient journey map:
• Focus groups
• Existing flyers and brochures
• Hospital website
• Input from medical staff
Different people from the hospital are involved in different stages of the journey. It is important to have a representative from each process in the stakeholders group to make sure you do not miss an important aspect of the patient journey map. Do not add too many people as this may slow down the process.
Many Patient Journeys are containing the same kind of steps. We have seen this trend after creating hundreds of different patient journeys. The basic template of a Patient Journey:
• Welcome phase
• General information about the disease
• The operation
• What happens straight after?
• Time in the hospital
• Revalidation at home
These are the moments or situations in which you want patients to contact you if necessary. For example: when a patient reports a fever of >38c 4 days after surgery, you want them to contact you. These touch points are critical to add to your patient journey map and will also help you to understand when to share what information or ask questions. This will prevent unnecessary phone calls or visits.
What kind of questions do you always receive from patients? What part of the journey is difficult for patients to understand? Organise a brainstorm session with different people from the stakeholder group and write down these question or critical points so you make sure that some extra attention will be spend on this part of the Patient Journey.
Tips on creating the perfect patient journey map
Try to put yourself in your patients’ shoes. Maybe you just got a life changing diagnosis, are therefore anxious and not capable of processing large amounts of complicated information. What type of information would you like to receive and when? What is important for you to know in advance and what not so much?
Using a lot of text can make it more complicating and unattractive for a patient to read.
If you use too many medical terms a patient cannot understand you risk to loose their attention and not get your message across.
This will make it much more attractive for the patient to read and visualization will help to explain difficult information.
Video can be used to create engagement from the patient and make sure they perform exercises in a correct way.
Make sure you do not 'lose' the patient once they leave the hospital. Regularly share information with patients when they are recovering at home to keep them engaged and maintain the patient satisfaction.
Besides being a patient journey mapping tool, the app also provides tools to improve patient support, interaction and adherence: