“When health systems benefit from some of the most unbelievable technological advancement in the history of humankind, why are the experiences of patients so dismal?
Regardless of who finances the cost of health care in a country, the challenges for health seekers to navigate their best options are similar. And, not surprisingly, for such massive operations (healthcare in United States was close to $4 trillions in 2017), it is equally difficult for all the actors to operate from inside the system, especially when comprehensive maps guiding the health systems strategy and shared understanding are missing.
Consumerism was adopted by healthcare as a panacea for old systems, convoluted processes, aging technologies; rapidly, customer experience became patient experience.
Terms such as patient engagement, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes were not fully understood, and more than once they were used interchangeably, sometimes even by the healthcare clinical and administrative communities.
Alignment diagrams such as service blueprints, journey maps, and mental models were immediately seen as pre-baked solutions to an “”air sandwich”” (Nilofer Merchant’s term) that was getting bigger and bigger.
Surprisingly, payers and providers (health systems and insurance companies) had an equally hard time figuring out their constituents’ challenges – what, and most importantly, how the most effective care should be provided.
The prominence of journey maps in healthcare organizations (particularly inside the marketing or patient experience departments) doesn’t speak as much of the maturity of the practice as it does about the lack of understanding within the business.
I will present three unique perspectives on the member-patient experience as reflected by the dichotomies between digital and non-digital, clinical and non-clinical, physical and emotional in the setting of a $3 Bn health system, a $6 Bn health insurance company, and a rehabilitation hospital in the United States, captured in three journey maps.”