Patient Journey Mapping is a visual representation of the sequence of events that emerge from the patient’s first contact with the hospital, including pre-visits, to the final check-up or discharge. It is the patient’s interaction with specific processes across various touchpoints in the complex hospital ecosystem. It allows for the visualization of the patient’s journey through the care system, helping the provider identify pain points, discover opportunities, and re-align their treatment and care approaches.
- Details of each touchpoint interaction during the journey identify gaps and inconsistencies
- Patient needs throughout the care and treatment processes
- Identify security, reliability, and experience issues
- Holistic view of customer interactions and positive and negative experiences
- Patients and, often, their families and other close relations
- The Medical Team – Doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals
- Third-Party – A moderator or software and UX designers.
- Awareness: At this stage, the consumers conduct online research to self-assess the symptoms and learn more about the available health plan options.
- Help: The patient contacts the health system primarily to schedule clinical appointments or get more information about available resources and facilities.
- Care: The hospital or the medical team performs a health assessment and narrows down on the diagnosis or further investigations the patient needs.
- Treatment: After the initial clinical appointments and investigations, treatment plans are created for the patient, which may include procedures, medications, or physical therapy.
- Behavioral or Lifestyle Changes: Patients must adapt and be proactive about their health to avoid further treatment and re-admission to a hospital.
- Ongoing care/Proactive Health: Patients need to monitor their parameters and may need ongoing care for their health conditions, engaging more with the physician or the hospital resources. At this stage, the goal is to form lasting relationships between the patients and caregivers.
In the healthcare domain, the patient’s emotional state has a great impact on the adoption rate of technology, the product or solution design, and the subsequent health outcome. It becomes imperative for the UX & UI designers to gain insights into the customer needs and the existing processes at the initial stages of the development and design. Shifting the focus to the illustration of a patient’s journey through a map or a storyboard creates more awareness of the customer’s needs and the emotions behind their actions.
Patient journey maps expose the pain points, user experience, security, and reliability issues along the entire user journey. They help provide the stimulus needed for knowledge sharing between the clients and the design teams. Some questions it answers for the UX research teams:
- Who is the end-user?
- What are their motivations?
- What influences their experience – positively and negatively?
- What tools or interfaces do they use?
- What kinds of social interactions influence their decisions and experiences?
A journey map differs from traditional UX deliverables in that it doesn’t look at the patient or the end-user in isolation. It provides a deeper understanding of the user and the life factors that impact their experience and health outcomes. While the underlying design principles and the user-centered approach largely remain the same, it is essential that the research is thorough and covers all the processes and stakeholders involved. The following steps have proven to be instrumental in informing the CJM process by incorporating the research elements.
- .Initial Scenario Outline – The high-level processes and stakeholders that the patient interacts with are plotted. The main stages, their timeline, and stakeholders are outlined in this basic representation.
- Include Qualitative Data: Additional events and activities that the patient goes through are added to the timeline. The repetitive processes are also added at this stage, along with additional touchpoints, emotional highs and lows, and some symptoms, like pain levels, are also plotted. This information is gathered through research methods, like contextual inquiry, observation, and interviews with personas, when appropriate.
- Incorporate Quantitative Data: This step requires broader research methods, like surveys, to get the supporting and relevant analytics and statistics (How many? How much?). This data is represented in a separate section, not on the timeline.
- Final Review and Clean up: To reduce clutter and stay focused on the solution, irrelevant steps or touchpoints need to be removed during this step. This step requires a few rounds of feedback to review and re-map the journey with only pertinent information.
“The use of process mining to generate customer journey maps has created a powerful analysis tool to understand how processes variants (paths) and touchpoints may affect the customer experience, as well to discover how end-to-end processes look like.” – International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health
Transforming Patient Experience with end-to-end journey mapping
Bridging the gap between patient needs and healthcare offerings through comprehensive journey mapping.