17 Nov 2012 Patient Journey Mapping
UPDATE: Check out my latest post on patient journey mapping work in health care!
Many organizations get locked into one way of doing business and it never changes year to year, despite advances in technology or changes in customer needs. It’s important for an organization to map out their process of providing service to customers and identify any road blocks or bottlenecks along the way. This leads to improved efficiency and cost savings.
A fictional Patient Journey Map for COPD.
Journey mapping is used in a variety of industries, including healthcare. Patient Journey Mapping brings together physicians, health professionals, and patients for a day-long session of mapping the patient experience. The focus is the patient and plotting their healthcare path through diagnosis, treatment, discharge home, and back again. As the patient journey is mapped, gaps in care are identified and wait times highlighted.
Graphic recording the journey ensures clear communication, especially when dealing with highly complex processes and with many people providing input. Creating a visual map is crucial in maintaining the group’s focus in order to thoroughly map the journey. It’s also important that patients feel they can express their personal stories in a safe environment where their voice is being heard. Graphic recording helps ensure patients feel validated by seeing their words displayed clearly through images. Graphic recording also captures the tone of what’s being said (or not said!).
Once the mapping is complete, it’s easy to send the digital version of the map to other health professionals during the validation process to ensure nothing has been missed.