Patient Journey Mapping with Liz Lamb
At April’s Evening Rounds 28, we saw a different take on the usual presentation and Q&A format. Liz Lamb, Innovation & Engagement Leader at the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council, discussed the basics of Patient Journey Mapping and then walked the group through an actual mapping experience – complete with patient (Eric), facilitator (Liz) and health care professionals (the audience). We then considered how digital tools could help to improve the patient experience, and an interactive session of crowdsourcing and idea scoring ensued.
What is Patient Journey Mapping?
Patient Journey Mapping is a view of health care taken from the patient’s perspective. It is not token patient inclusion, but rather a process that considers the patient experience – what the patient feels, sees and hears when receiving care – as a way to identify changes in the system that can lead to improvement. This process is most effective when it’s part of a much larger improvement strategy and there is strong commitment to listen to patients.
How does it work?
Liz boiled down the Patient Journey Mapping process into five (not always so easy) steps:
1. Know what you are trying to accomplish. Clearly define what you want to improve.
2. Talk to your stakeholders.
3. Define the start and end points for the mapping process.
4. Recruit patients and know how to support them throughout the mapping activity.
5. Manage expectations, especially with patients. Close the loop with patients afterwards.
The three main roles in the journey mapping process are: patients, facilitator and health care providers. The patients tell their stories in their own words; the facilitator captures the patient experiences; and health care providers ask clarifying questions.
Debriefing with both patients and providers is a key part of the post-mapping follow-up. This is when opportunities for improvement can be identified, with patients and providers contributing ideas that can then be scored and ranked.
The fun stuff
Eric’s story – a mapping experience
Eric led us through his experience with the acute care system in BC. A detailed chronology of Eric’s journey was mapped on paper, with Liz recording Eric’s feelings and reactions for each step. The audience asked questions about medications, results and diagnoses, and at what points in his journey Eric felt most frustrated. Then, under the guidance of Liz, the debrief gave participants the chance to identify both the issues that stood out most (lack of communication and sympathy, delays, degree of patient advocacy required) and the opportunities for improvement (communication, collaboration, empathy).
It wouldn’t be Evening Rounds without adding some digital flavor to the mix. What happens when 40+ people crowdsource ideas on how digital tools could be applied to improve Eric’s experience? A lot of idea swapping, ranking and, in the end, a strong case for a province-wide e-Health record. Kudos to Liz Lamb and Michelle Cyca for getting everyone out of their seats!