Can a Journey Map Help Improve the Patient Experience?

Remember when internet advertising was in its infancy and every site you clicked on released a barrage of pop-ups? At first it must have seemed like this trend was the next big thing and would help brands reach tons of buyers. However, the irritation factor could not be ignored. Sure, consumers were seeing the products, but they were not ready to buy!

Savvy brands have become wiser since those early days and realized that pop-ups fall short of their intended goal. After all, no one cares to see ads for Burger King when they’re trying to find a new raincoat online.

The same is true for healthcare brands. If you’re trying to find out what to do about your recent diabetes diagnosis, you don’t need to know (and probably don’t even want to think about) who the leading cancer care specialist in your area is. It’s important that patients or potential patients are receiving the information that they want when they are ready for it.

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Figuring out the Right Place and Right time

A journey map, which is also sometimes called an experience map, can help healthcare brands figure out the right place and right time to introduce information to a patient or prospective patient. By figuring out the touch points on each step of the journey map, healthcare brands can better assess the emotions behind the patient’s actions and therefore better relate to the patient at that specific place and time in their journey. Of course, this will greatly enhance the patient experience.

What Is a Journey Map?

A journey map is a broad outline that identifies each phase that a patient will go through in the course of diagnosis and treatment. It should be noted that a journey map is pretty much always cyclical as opposed to linear. Since the healthcare journey is a continuous one, patients will cycle back around to the beginning as they adapt to their “new normal” and begin assessing further steps they can take to feel better and stay healthier.

Identifying the Patient Persona

To create the most effective journey map, healthcare brands should first figure out the general persona of the patient that the map is being geared towards reaching. A patient that has been diagnosed with brain damage is going to have a different journey than a patient that has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The patient’s environment and the tools that are available to help her may also influence what steps she takes and the speed of her journey.

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Journey Map Basics

A basic journey map often includes steps such as:

  • Diagnosis
  • Seeking treatment
  • Decision for treatment
  • Treatment
  • Ongoing management

Personalizing Your Journey Map

Creating a journey map can help you better communicate with your patients, but speaking to your patients can also help you to optimize your journey map. By understanding some of your patients’ thought processes and the struggles they go through, you may be able to create a journey map that allows you to better connect with your other patients and thus provide more personalized guidance.

Do you have a journey map or similar tool to help you figure out the drivers behind your patients’ behaviors? If you want to create a patient journey map but aren’t sure how to get started, give us a call at (407) 523-0604 to schedule a free consultation.