The Step-by-Step Guide to Patient Journey Mapping

by | May 18, 2022 | Healthcare, Life Sciences

Provider holding clipboard is interviewing a patient for patient journey mapping.

Customer journey mapping has been used for years in marketing and customer service. Now healthcare realizes journey mapping’s potential when used in the biotech and life sciences industry. Patient journey mapping offers providers and researchers a complete view of patients and their respective environments, which will help them mitigate risks and achieve more favorable outcomes.

Learn the five steps for patient journey mapping using big data and customer experiences and how it will help you offer patient-centric care.

Key Takeaways:
  • Patient journey mapping outlines a patient’s journey from first realizing their health concerns through treatment.
  • A patient’s journey map tells providers and researchers where common risks arise and how to influence patients for better outcomes.
  • You need to collaborate with health care providers to ensure your patient journey mapping is complete.
  • Big data, artificial intelligence, and digital technology make patient journey mapping possible in healthcare.

What is Patient Journey Mapping?

Patient journey mapping is tracking and analyzing your patient’s experiences, touchpoints, and treatment from when they first noticed symptoms or an issue through to their outcome. A patient map includes:

  • Medical records
  • Medications they took
  • Prescriptions they refilled
  • Treatment or therapies they underwent
  • Lifestyle choices they make (like exercising or diet)
  • Doctor or care visits
  • Survey results


Example of patient journey mapping
Image source: Voxco


These pieces help providers create a complete picture of how effective their treatment was or why a patient stopped treatment because they can understand a patient better and any influencing behaviors. In addition, when providers see how each piece plays a part in the patient’s outcome, they can also identify specific areas of concern or risks to avoid.

Why Patient Journey Mapping is Important

Healthcare and life sciences want to deliver top-quality care while minimizing costs and offering a positive experience for patients. However, with scattered patient information or incomplete records, that has been difficult in the past. Additionally, those in biotech and life science have traditionally worked through a healthcare system when delivering care, which puts further distance between them and the patient journey.

That scenario is no longer the case because of new digital technology like artificial intelligence and platforms that can collect and organize big data in healthcare.

Today, patients can access their healthcare information for themselves. This allows them to research their diagnosis and approach providers directly instead of going through their primary care physician or other medical providers.

This technology also helps those in healthcare and life sciences to understand more about patients and deliver better treatment options. As a result, you have a clearer picture of your product’s effectiveness and where you should adjust your treatment options to improve the patient’s experience. The information you gain from patient journey mapping in life sciences and biotech will also help you write educational material because you will have more accurate and specific instructions for patients based on real situations.

Below is a patient journey map example for a pneumonia patient.


Patient journey mapping example of a pneumonia patient
Image source: NIH


5 Steps to Map Your Patient Journey in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Take these five steps to help you create a patient journey map for healthcare and life sciences.


Video: Pharmaceutical Industry JOURNEY MAPPING in 3 Steps for Patients and HCPs


1. Understand Your Purpose

You wouldn’t start a journey without knowing your destination, and neither should you create a customer journey map without knowing your purpose for treatment.

One patient can generate nearly 80 megabytes of medical data annually. Without focus, you can easily drown in that amount of information and have a difficult time making relevant and valuable connections. Knowing your end goal will help you focus and organize your data.

2. Connect with Potential Patients

Once you have your goal, you are ready to begin mapping your patient’s journey, which starts with touching base with patients. You can bring patients in through your website, SEO, social media, or your network of providers.

When patients first contact you, you will want to start gathering relevant information that will help with patient mapping, including demographics, finances, and their medical history.

3. Gather Patient Health Data

Collecting data about your patients will many times be an active task. While automation and artificial intelligence can pick up passive information, you will also have to send out surveys and contact the patient to get feedback on their treatment throughout the process.

You will need data from every point along their journey from their first symptoms, consultations, costs, side effects, and influencing factors when a patient chooses to stop treatment. This data is relevant because it can help you find ways to avoid scenarios that might prevent patients from getting the treatment they need.

4. Partner with Other Medical Personnel

You must create a patient 360 view of each person you are mapping to understand their journey fully. This is a single view of the patient and their data instead of trying to analyze scattered information from siloed sources.

If you limit yourself to the information you can access, you will only see half the picture. Your patient’s primary care physician and other healthcare providers are key players in your patient’s journey map.

Digital health monitoring devices, electronic health records, and contacting providers directly are all ways you can get relevant data on your patient’s other medical touch points.

5. Consistently Check-In with Patients

Your patient wants information about their drugs, treatments, and procedures, and if they don’t get that information from you, they will go to outside sources. You can help control your patient’s journey and stay involved as their most trusted medical advisor and influencer by being a valuable source of information.

As your patient undergoes treatment, take time to contact them consistently and provide thorough records and information. This will help relieve your patient’s minds and answer their questions to avoid misinformation they might receive if they search for answers elsewhere. For example, Google reports that 7 percent of searches are health-related. Those are questions patients are asking a search engine over their provider.

Staying in touch will also build trust with the patient, which will help them feel more comfortable when sharing information. You may even receive more information from patients because they know they can trust you. This information will help you keep your patients on a journey to success.

Unify Your Customer Data in One Source

Your patient journey map will save you valuable time and resources while positively influencing patients’ outcomes. In addition, you can optimize your patient journey mapping in biotech and life sciences through a unified data collection and analytic tool, so you never worry about siloed or missing information again.

Contact us to learn about our platform that will help you map your patient’s journey and provide the best care.


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