It’s common for medical professionals to believe that the patient experience is defined by an appointment alone. While care is an essential element of patients’ perception of your practice overall, many other factors impact their experience.
What’s the patient journey?
The best way to address all the elements that affect patient perception is to map out the patient’s journey from before they even make the appointment until they leave your medical center. The patient’s journey is the complete sum of experiences that they go through when interacting with your facility. Instead of only focusing on the care given, mapping out the patient’s journey allows you to gain an understanding of each step a patient takes that can affect their experience.
What does the patient journey map look like?
Consider every step a patient takes before, during, and after seeing one of your doctors.
- Step 1: Finding you
- Step 2: Making an appointment
- Step 3: Getting to your facility
- Step 4: Before their appointment / the waiting room
- Step 5: The care / the appointment
- Step 6: Post-appointment / follow-up
Depending on your practice and your specific facility, your patient journey map may change and you may have additional steps.
I made my map. What’s next?
Once your map is built, consider the things you can impact and ensure that you are doing them well.
Step 1: How can I impact our patients finding us?
- Make sure you have good reviews on search engines
- Develop an informative, user-friendly website
- Ensure accurate information on insurance providers’ website
Step 2: What should I be sure of while scheduling appointments?
- The person making the appointment is friendly and warm
- You provide a reminder call, preferrably made by a person, not a machine
- Your reminder call is pleasant and informative
Step 3: What can I impact in terms of them getting to my facility?
- Provide clear directions if the facility is not easy to find
- Make sure there is enough spaces for patients to park, if not, giving them additional parking information
Step 4: What should I keep in mind regarding the pre-appointment stage?
- Ensure the cleanliness and good lighting in waiting room
- Friendliness of front desk personnel and support staff
- Ease of signing in
- Appearance of support staff’s medical scrubs uniforms in Seattle, WA (and beyond)
- Wait time
Step 5: What should I consider during the appointment?
- The cleanliness of patient room
- The appearance of healthcare bed supplies in Seattle, WA
- How clean and comforting the patient gown is
- Wait time
- Behavior/manners of medical professional (compassionate, good bedside manners)
- Quality of care
Step 6: What can affect the patient experience after the appointment?
- Ease of checking out
- Billing and help with insurance from staff
- Follow-up call
While this may not be a complete list of everything that the patient experiences, these are some examples of factors to consider with every patient that visits your medical facility.