by Chloe Bowen
Article filed in

The Patient Journey

by Chloe Bowen

Definition

The patient journey refers to the ongoing sequence of events which a patient follows from the point of access into the health system, continuing towards diagnosis and care and ending in outpatient care. It is the cyclical, never-ending sequence of care events with one’s healthcare provider.

Stages of the patient journey

  • Trigger Event/Awareness: The patient self-assesses his or her symptoms, conducts research and determines whether or not to seek medical treatment.
  • Help: The patient makes initial contact with the health system.
  • Care: The patient is assessed at a medical facility.
  • Treatment: The health system provides the patient with on-site and follow-up care as required.
  • Behavioral/Lifestyle Change: The patient makes changes to daily routines and takes part in proactive healing in order to reduce readmissions and promote long-term wellbeing.
  • Ongoing Care: The patient manages his or her care between clinical visits.
  • Proactive Health: The health system fosters engagement between the patient and physician in order to enable the patient to address symptoms and maintain good health.

Why is proactively managing the patient journey important?

Healthcare systems such as Medicare are seeing increased financial incentives to ensure that patients comply with treatment plans post-discharge. There is also evidence of the importance of identifying a patient’s values and preferences for treatment, as this can increase compliance with the plan of care, as reported by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Engaging the patient early in the diagnosis, delivering the right information at the right time throughout the patient’s journey, and engaging in shared decision-making will help patients achieve better outcomes.

Patients who are informed about their condition and involved in their treatment decisions tend to have better results and typically incur lower costs, as report in Health Affairs Journal.

In addition, there is more competition in healthcare than ever before. In order to effectively reach and engage today’s selective, value-driven consumers, health systems must focus on creating excellent experiences for the patient that lead to increased brand awareness, higher conversion between journey stages, and patient retention.

In order to stay competitive, healthcare organizations must prioritize proactive patient engagement throughout the entire patient journey.

How to help patients manage their journey

The key is to provide a personalized journey that’s hyper-targeted towards each individual patient.

Active patient engagement involves engaging consumers based on specific information (demographic, social, behavioral, etc.) which can only safely be done with a HIPAA compliant email marketing solution such as Paubox’s Project Orca, which allows you to segment and send secure emails using your patient data to drive more engagement and results. All while staying HIPAA compliant.

With this tool, healthcare professionals can build, launch, and manage multi-channel campaigns to target specific demographics, consumers at risk, consumers with specific conditions, etc. to effectively engage patients in their own care.


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