What Is the Patient Journey in Healthcare?

Patient feedback is a vital aspect in the healthcare industry and patient surveys are a common method used to help improve the patient experience. To better understand and address the patient experience, healthcare organizations must first understand the patient journey and it is important to ask – what is the patient journey in healthcare? Armed with this knowledge and the right tools, healthcare professionals can better identify pain points within the patient journey and implement new strategies to improve the patient experience – and we are here to help at boostCX.

What Are the 5 Stages of the Patient Journey Map?

The patient journey map is a crucial tool in healthcare, outlining the path a patient takes from the first point of contact through ongoing care – and every stage of the patient map represents a touchpoint of the patient experience that plays a key role in their satisfaction. The patient journey map has five stages – Awareness, Consideration, Access, Services Delivery, and Ongoing Care.

It is crucial for any healthcare organization to understand and optimize the patient journey as it directly impacts the patient experience and the reputation of your organization. A well-managed patient journey can lead to improved patient satisfaction, increased loyalty to your organization, and positive word-of-mouth, all of which can contribute to the growth and success of your organization. 

Here is a closer look at each stop on the patient journey map:

1. Awareness

The Awareness stage of the patient journey is the initial phase where patients identify a health concern and begin seeking information. This stage is crucial as it sets the tone for the patient’s perception of their healthcare journey and will influence their choices of healthcare providers and treatments. Online searches, reviews, marketing, networking, and word of mouth are all elements that influence this stage of the patient journey.

2. Consideration

The Consideration stage is a critical step in the patient journey that involves patients evaluating different healthcare providers and treatment options based on the information they have at their disposal. This step in the patient journey is where patients make informed decisions about their healthcare, based on factors like quality of care, cost, location, and reputation.

3. Access

The Access stage of the patient journey, where patients make appointments and access healthcare services, is a key touchpoint in the patient experience. It’s during this stage that patients have their first direct engagement with your organization, making it a critical opportunity to establish a positive first impression and build trust. Patient engagement can occur via a variety of mediums in this stage – phone calls, patient portals, text messages, and emails.

Patient and Nurse Making a Heart with Their Hands

4. Service Delivery

This stage of the patient journey encompasses consultations with medical professionals, tests, treatments, and procedures. This stage of the process is directly correlated with patient satisfaction. The quality, efficiency, and empathy exhibited at this stage of the patient journey has great influence on a patient’s overall perception of care and their likelihood to recommend their healthcare provider to others.

5. Ongoing Care

The Ongoing Care stage of the patient journey, which includes post-treatment follow-ups, rehabilitation, and preventive care, is a valuable opportunity to gather patient feedback. Insights gained at this stage can help healthcare providers better understand the patient experience, identify areas for improvement, and adapt their services to meet evolving patient needs and expectations.

What Are the Benefits of Mapping the Patient Journey?

Mapping the patient journey offers numerous benefits to healthcare providers and organizations. It provides a comprehensive view of the patient’s experience from start to finish and this understanding can help identify gaps in service, areas for improvement, and opportunities to enhance patient satisfaction. This practice creates a visualization of the patient’s path that allows healthcare providers to design more effective interventions, streamline processes, and personalize care.

Here is a short list of the benefits you can expect to discover when you create a map of the patient journey for your healthcare organization.

  • Provides a common view of the patient experience for your organization.
  • Identifies common pain points that patients experience within their journey.
  • Creates a comparison between the intended patient experience and actual patient experience within your organization.
  • Helps your organization refine patient surveys and feedback strategies.
  • Helps build a shared ownership of the patient journey and experience.
Doctor Talking to Older Man About Healthcare

READ MORE: What Is the Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

In conclusion – understanding the patient journey in healthcare is crucial for improving the patient experience and your level of care. Each stage of the journey, from start to finish, provides new opportunities to engage with patients and meet their needs effectively. Equipped with customer solutions like the boostCX Customer Experience Platform, healthcare providers can gather and analyze patient feedback, manage their online reputation, and leverage insights to make data-driven decisions.

When you optimize the patient journey, healthcare providers can not only improve patient satisfaction and loyalty but enhance their organization’s reputation and success. If you’re ready to take your patient experience to the next level, consider integrating boostCX into your patient journey strategy and contact the boostCX Team today.