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The Journey Map and the Digital Patient Experience
February 6, 2018 |

Navigate a Successful Digital Patient Experience with a Journey Map

Today’s patient experience spans across many different interactions, from in-person appointments, to calls to the office, and online as patients search symptoms or research providers. Supporting that journey requires collaboration and a commitment to helping patients at every step of their experience.

Unfortunately, it can be all too easy for departments to become siloed across healthcare organizations. Leadership, IT, marketing, physicians, nurses and other key players must come together to create organizational alignment around patient needs and expectations and then develop a patient journey map.

Start by focusing on three key areas:

  1. Goals and vision

  2. Communication and collaboration

  3. Roles and skills

Goals and Vision

A patient journey map defines each critical touch point where a patient (or his or her caregiver) may interact with your organization. Developing that journey map with input from departments and leaders across a healthcare system offers up the opportunity to gather valuable insight you may not have otherwise considered. It also provides the invaluable opportunity to get buy-in across your digital teams.

That’s because today’s experience – from online to in-person – should be seamless. The patient doesn’t realize that they are talking to different people across different departments, or understand why they have to search for or provide important information over and over again.

By building a cross-functional team to develop and align on the goals and vision of the complete patient journey, you can create a North Star, which guides you to building meaningful and lasting relationship with patients, families and communities.

Communication and Collaboration

Working across departments always requires a commitment to collaboration and communication. The best place to start begins with speaking the right language and defining key performance indicators (KPIs) that your entire team will care about. For example, your CEO and CFO care about growth and revenue. Your CTO is focused on security and efficiency of the systems you implement.

Also, be sure to:

  • Incorporate KPIs that highlight each of these concerns.

  • Clearly explain your objectives and address any objections. A fundamental part of collaboration, after all, is listening and understanding concerns.

  • Commit to working openly to create a plan and objectives that meet the needs of your organization and the patient.

Skills and Roles

Build the journey map from the patients’ point of view – and not the organization’s. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind. Work backward from where you want the patient to be, and consider how they get there.

As you work through the journey map, it’s important to consider the digital skills your organization needs to guide the customer along the way. Digital skills could include programming, web development, digital design, app development and more. Clearly outline the skills that are needed to help move your customers to each touch point. Then, assess if any skills are missing and work to close gaps.

You’ll want to identify and address missing digital skills to build a cross-functional team. Some of the  roles to include are:

  • Team leader

  • Project manager

  • Change management leader

  • Department representatives

  • Researcher

  • Analyst

For a full list of roles to consider, read our whitepaper: The No Fail Guide to Digital Customer Experience Investment.

Sometimes, it makes sense to bridge the gap in any skills you lack internally which may mean bringing in an external partner, and perspective to help solve the challenges you face, and help you recognize challenges what you have not yet seen.

An Ongoing Journey

Elevating the patient experience with a journey map is a process that requires ongoing communication, collaboration and a willingness to grow and adjust. Once your journey map is complete, don’t just stick it on a shelf. Look at it, review it and measure against it. Work as a team to decide if shortfalls are because of an issue in your program or process, or if the journey map needs to be adjusted.

If your organization is ready to take on journey mapping, Phase2 can help. Contact us today to learn how we can support your entire organization, and patients.

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