This paper explores a design thinking led approach to define and improve the patient experience leveraging digital technologies.
Consumer engagement struggles with a variety of factors, including IT literacy, interoperability at the system level, and misaligned incentives. Design thinking is a method for meeting people’s needs and desires in a technologically feasible and strategically viable way. This is based on the principle of engaging a broad set of stakeholders in an open and collaborative way to develop solutions. It is a methodology in which a wide range of inputs and options are considered and then narrowed down to the critical and essential choices for consideration in the final design.
One way to look at this is to consider the patient experience as a series of ‘Connected Moments’ that involve interactions with a broad range of stakeholders. To understand this, it is helpful to consider a scenario which describes various points in a typical patient journey at a hospital. The patient journey map, charts extensive observations and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders that includes patients, doctors, medical assistants, front desk staff, discharge teams, management, marketing, IT, and patient representatives — all of whom contribute to the end-to-end patient experience. A real-life example of a health system that studied the patient journey highlighted the experience gaps in various aspects of the patient journey. While individual hospitals may have variations of the patient journey, the findings below are not atypical and can be used as representative.
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