Hospital Patient Journey Mapping Using RTLS Technology

March 24, 2023

Patient journey mapping helps to understand the entire patient experience.

From filling out online paperwork to answering post-visit surveys, today’s healthcare consumers have multiple touchpoints with their providers. Nowadays, it is essential for healthcare facilities to deliver a positive care experience, virtually and in person. This is because if a patient has a negative experience, they may move on and find a new provider. 

To improve patient engagement and satisfaction, many providers utilize patient journey mapping to better understand the entire patient experience, from research to ongoing care. Sometimes called “healthcare process mapping”, patient journey mapping outlines all patient touch points during each stage of interaction and can help reveal inconsistencies or gaps.

The specific stages of patient journey mapping include:

  • Stage 1: Pre-Visit Awareness - During this phase, a patient may conduct research before selecting a provider. They may find a facility via an ad, third-party listing, or recommendation. 
  • Stage 2: Appointment - Once a patient identifies they need care and chooses a provider, they may reach out via chat, email, mobile, or an in-person visit to schedule an appointment.
  • Stage 3: Initial Visit - During the initial visit, a patient may develop their first impression of the healthcare organization. The patient will be assessed at the medical facility, which could be a doctor’s office or hospital. 
  • Stage 4: Treatment - The provider gives the patient on-site and follow-up care, which may include prescriptions, physical therapy, counseling, or suggested lifestyle changes. 
  • Stage 5: Post-Visit - After the patient’s visit, the provider may send them a survey, and the patient may make changes to their daily routine to reduce readmissions and promote long-term well-being. 
  • Stage 6: Ongoing Care - During ongoing care, the provider may foster engagement between patients and physicians to help patients maintain good health. The provider may continue asking for feedback from the patient to improve their overall patient experience.
benefits of patient journey mapping in your hospital

The Benefits of Using Patient Journey Mapping in Your Hospital

To reveal gaps in the patient experience and help streamline patient strategies, patient journey mapping examines a healthcare facility’s people, places, and technology. One study on journey mapping in palliative care found patient journey mapping shows promise as a review and audit tool and is a way to provide proactive patient-centered care. Here are just a few essential benefits of patient journey mapping: 

1. Streamlining Patient Strategy

Patient journey mapping can help healthcare practices organize patient strategies. These strategies may inform the patient’s treatment decisions, health behaviors, and outcomes, so they must be consistent. A cohesive patient strategy helps identify patient populations, provide education, deliver personalized care, and minimize barriers to care.

2. Measuring Gaps Between Patient Experience Goals and Reality

Goals are only beneficial if a facility can track progress to see what is going well and what needs improvement. A patient journey map can help healthcare organizations identify goals and understand if their facility is meeting them, and if not, identify areas that need to change.

3. Determining and Fixing Patient Pain Points

There are often gaps in the patient journey because of poorly coordinated technology and resources. Patient journey mapping helps facilities see every aspect of the patient experience, so they can easily spot problems. Once pain points are identified, a facility can take steps to alleviate them. 

create a comprehensive patient journey map with rtls

Create a Comprehensive Patient Journey Map with RTLS

Patient journey mapping is an extensive process that takes a deep dive into all areas of a patient’s interactions with their healthcare provider. There are many technologies and solutions on the market to help inform patient journey mapping, but real-time location systems (RTLS) technology is one of the most beneficial. 

RTLS technology provides organizations with the highest level of operational insight and can help providers effectively map their patients’ journeys — here are a few of the ways how: 

Digital Front Door Integration 

From managing appointments and paying bills, a healthcare facility’s digital front door encompasses a patient’s entire virtual experience with their provider. As patients demand digital, personalized healthcare, an RTLS solution can help streamline patient portals and post-visit engagement. 

In turn, digital front door integrations serve as vital touchpoints in the patient journey for pre-visit awareness, making appointments, post-visit communication, and ongoing care. Apps can streamline making the first appointment, push health alerts, and send reminders about setting additional appointments in a timely, effective manner.

Patient Wayfinding and Tracking

When a patient visits their provider for the first time, some may find it challenging to navigate the facility, which can ultimately influence their first impression and overall experience. RTLS technology can help patients navigate the hospital and even assist them in easily finding their car after their visit. With RTLS, users can drop a pin to bookmark their location and travel seamlessly from home to the healthcare provider’s waiting room. 

Wayfinding technology offers an essential form of support during the initial visit and treatment stages of guest journey mapping. Visitors & patients can efficiently guide themselves through a hospital, tapping into interactive map icons for more information and gain a better idea of scheduling. Wayfinding additionally ensures that patients & visitors remain only in areas they have access to, funneling guests towards pre-planned touchpoints.

Patient Notifications

In addition to wayfinding, RTLS also allows healthcare facilities to create and push personalized alerts and promotions to visitors based on location. For example, hospitals can place a geofence around their facility to trigger mobile express check-in. These notifications can help patients find their providers and receive faster care — all the while creating more concrete, explicit points of communication through the patient journey.

Utilize Patient Journey Mapping & RTLS Technology to Enhance Your Patient Experience 

Patient journey mapping is a beneficial practice for numerous healthcare facilities. Combined with RTLS technology, providers can easily identify patient pain points and gaps, so they can find solutions to improve their patient experience and retention rate. Cox Prosight is a cutting-edge RTLS platform that streamlines operations in hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the U.S. 

Discover how Prosight can digitally empower your patients, provide a more personalized experience, and lead to high patient retention. Contact our team today to learn how our solution can transform your facility and better your patient journey mapping. 

Meredith Strachan
Manager, Marketing

Meredith leads strategy and execution of Cox Prosight's comprehensive marketing strategy including events, digital, content, campaigns and social media. She has a passion for bringing awareness to innovative, digital healthcare solutions through marketing programs enabling organizations to fully engage patients and improve patient experiences. Meredith holds a B.S in Finance from the University of Alabama and resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and child.