Definition and basic understanding
The patient journey involves the entire patient interaction with one’s business as one attempts to solve their problem. The patient begins by researching, understanding, and discovering more about their condition.
In this 21st century, patients can research online via government and healthcare providers’ websites. They can conduct their research online and use social media platforms if they want a more interactive platform where they can engage with healthcare experts and other patients.
Doing so helps patients better understand their condition and get to ask about their worries, and compare how other patients are taking care of themselves and what they should do to improve their journey.
There are three stages that a patient passes throughout their time as a patient. One of the stages is the pre-visit stage, where a patient involves in different interactions, including searching on a social media platform about the symptoms before they visit a healthcare center or provider to be diagnosed.
The second stage is consultation, where a patient meets their caregiver physically or through google meet-ups, especially after the rise of the pandemic. The last stage is the post-visit stage, which involves the follow-up steps after patients visit and consults their caregiver. It is at this stage that a patient has check-ups with the caregiver to follow up on whether the diagnosis is positively working and whether their condition is improving.
The concept of patient journey mapping explained
By recognizing and maximizing the various concerns that influence patient outcomes at each level, patient journey mapping aims to increase patient satisfaction. Healthcare providers can build a map to assess the patient experience and subsequently improve by gathering data at these stages.
Patient mapping entails an in-depth assessment of a patient’s initiatives and steps and the results after each step and stage are undertaken. It also means capturing and analyzing data with market research technology and an advanced consumer.
Understanding the elements that form part of the journey
This is the front element of the journey. At this phase, a patient learns about a caregiver and how they could help them. The patient also knows about the condition from social media and peers. If they are recommended to a specific caregiver, the patient will research and look at the website reviews to verify their information.
This is the phase where the patient becomes vulnerable and expresses their intent. The patient also reaches out to the caregiver, and if they feel you do not understand their needs and modes of communication, they tend to move to another caregiver. Here, the caregiver needs to pay attention to how the patient wants to communicate and provide it. It may be through phone calls, messages, or emails.
This phase occurs after the patient has accepted the caregiver’s professional help and thus expects service delivery—their mental system shifts from their problem to how they will be treated in the facility. The patients enter a grading mode about the caregiver in this phase because they will analyze whether they are receiving quality service and how the other patients rated the caregiver. The caregiver is supposed to understand their story and ensure that they are dealing with it appropriately.
At this phase, the caregiver, guided by their research and the diagnosis they prescribed to their client, follows up on whether the medication recommended is working. Treatment does not necessarily end at the doctor’s office, and sometimes it begins after, depending on the arrangement agreed upon, whether in-patient or out-patient. Treatment sometimes leads to long-term as caregivers call their patients to know whether the meds are working and the condition is improving.
This is where a positive relationship exists between the Caregiver and the patient even after they are cured and official check-ups are completed. At this phase, a caregiver acquires referrals from their patients. They also obtain visits from their patients because of the relationship they established, which enables them to survey the progress and lifestyle changes of the patient.