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What is Patient Journey Mapping

What is Patient Journey Mapping? The Ultimate Guide

The data is clear, improving the patient experience as a healthcare provider pays dividends.

Specifically, “hospitals with excellent HCAHPS ratings had a net margin of 4.7 percent compared to 1.8 percent for facilities with low ratings”

So, as a provider of a healthcare service, how do you improve your patient satisfaction and patient feedback to a degree where you’re earning substantially more profits? The answer is simple, you improve the patient experience by conducting efficient patient journey mapping.

But, what is patient journey mapping?

This article will cover what patient journey mapping is, why it’s important, what the direct benefits are (for both and the patient) and how you can conduct patient journey mapping effectively.

What is Patient Journey Mapping?

Patient journey mapping is a method of visualizing the patient experience, from start to finish, across every touchpointthat they engage with, within your healthcare system.

It’s a way of seeing your own healthcare management system from your patients’ point of view, allowing you to identify any areas for improvement and potential blind spots in your quality of service.

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What is Patient Journey Mapping’s Importance?

The importance of patient journey mapping is that it gives you the opportunity (as a healthcare provider) to increase quality of care, patient satisfaction and overall patient retention.

By creating a patient experience blueprint, covering all areas of your healthcare system from pre-visit to post-visit, you are essentially creating a customer journey map that will allow you to address the widespread concerns that patients face and improve their satisfaction for the long term.

This mapping can drastically increase the level of patient care that you are providing. Effective patient journey mapping can help you:

  • Identify a need for improved communications between you and your patients both in and out of the office
  • Highlight a need for a facility interior redesign to be warmer and more welcoming.
  • Reveal blind spots in your administrative system that were contributing to poor patient retention

Once you become aware of these insights, you and your team can begin making plans for innovations and allocating budgetary resources in pursuit of this goal.

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What is Patient Journey Mapping: 5 Major Benefits to Health Systems

The primary benefit of patient journey mapping is gaining a comprehensive overview of how your entire healthcare system is performing and the degree to which it’s meeting your patients’ expectations.

As a result, you’re likely to also see the following benefits:

1. Workflow & Patient Process Streamlining
By recognizing a need for increased patient communication tools and digital upgrades, you can implement or improve patient portals, your website, social media or mobile app to be more engaging or user-friendly.

2. More Efficient Staff
By automating internal processes and providing easier access to necessary information via the cloud (like contact info and patient medical records), your staff will be spending less time on administrative tasks and can spend more time on improving interactions with patients.

3. Closing Gaps in Patient Care
After having completed your patient journey mapping, you may have noticed that gaps are present in your facility’s patient experience, creating areas where you may have previously lost them as patients to a different care provider.

Once you’ve identified the cause of these gaps (it could be based on technology, resources or repeated circumstances) you can work to close them.

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4. Eliminate Patient Pain Points
Revealing touchpoints that are causing friction in your patients’ experiences is the first important step in eliminating them altogether. Patient journey mapping is the best way to highlight those pain points so you can begin addressing them.

5. Improved Communication Between You and Your Patients
Oftentimes, after conducting patient journey mapping for your healthcare service, many providers find that a lack of strong communication between your office and your patients is the leading cause of poor retention.

Patients frequently feel a heightened sense of anxiety and concern regarding their health and making sure you over-communicate their care, treatment plans and appointment schedules can go a long way to improving overall patient satisfaction.

Finding areas for improvement in technology systems or administrative processes is a common way of fostering improved communications.

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What is Patient Journey Mapping: Describing the 5 Stages

Actually creating a patient journey map requires a fair amount of leg work and input from multiple stakeholders (like patients and staff, for instance). It’s also a task that’s made much easier with the use of CRM systems or other healthcare management software, as many include patient journey mapping tools and already possess much of the required data.

However, you will also need to have a clear picture of all the various stages your patients go through when receiving your healthcare services.

Here are the 5 key stages of the patient journey that you should keep in mind when creating your patient journey map:

1. Initial Awareness
This is when the patient first becomes aware that they require some kind of medical care.

2. First Contact
The patient has contacted your establishment and made an appointment.

3. Treatment/Care
The patient is assessed and receives treatment for their specific health issue.

4. Lifestyle & Behavioural Change
On your professional advice, the patient makes adjustments to their life to mitigate the negative effects of their diagnosed condition.

5. Ongoing Care
The patient makes follow-up appointments, if required, to manage their health issue.

What is Patient Journey Mapping: Creating an Effective Patient Journey Map

If you’re having difficulty creating a truly effective patient journey map, we can help.

At Normative we’re experts at driving innovation and business growth, and we can help you and your healthcare team increase your patients’ satisfaction and patient retention.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can provide invaluable insights into your business.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can provide invaluable insights into your business.