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Activating Consumer Journey Maps Across Your Healthcare Organization

Nurse Speaking To A Mother And Child

Chances are that your organization, wherever it sits in the healthcare ecosystem, has invested in a set of journey maps. These are tools, typically created as part of a marketing effort, that detail the journey your audiences take with your product or service. For example:

  • How patients access care at your hospital
  • How consumers discover and use your latest medical device or drug innovation
  • How patients interact with your company while making an insurance claim

Journey maps detail every step of the experience, including the tasks, emotions, opportunities, and pain points that exist at each stage from pre-awareness to loyalty. Journey maps are often created at the start of large initiatives, such as website redesigns or rebranding efforts, to help ensure that customer needs are at the forefront of strategic planning. But what happens next? Are those journey maps that you worked so hard on collecting digital dust in a folder?

Journey maps can give you insights into what your users want and how they behave — critical knowledge for teams throughout your organization. We’ll discuss how different departments can use journey maps to drive deeper engagement and enhance the patient experience.

Journey maps supercharge your marketing

Before we look at the broader organization, I’d be remiss to not talk about how essential journey maps are to a marketing team. They are used in a variety of ways, including:

  • To ensure messaging is aligned with patient needs.
  • To understand where, and how, to deliver just-in-time messages across touchpoints to move patients through the journey.
  • To create content and assets that resonate with members throughout the lifecycle, driving education and loyalty, and to help support their health and wellness.
  • To identify friction points in the journey and help marketers understand how they can mitigate pain points

While many marketing teams create journey maps, the teams often only reference them for a short period of time or for a singular initiative. But these tools can travel far beyond a single department.

Don’t let your patient journeys gather dust

With so many benefits, it’s little wonder that journey maps are so often synonymous with marketing. But not so fast — journey maps can benefit just about every corner of an organization. For example:

Benefits of journey maps for executive and board teams

At a high level, journey maps support the efforts of executive leaders, boards of directors, and other leadership teams. These teams can use journey maps to:

  • Ensure the mission, vision, values, and direction of the organization align with patient needs and expectations, helping to create additional value​
  • Prioritize innovation and organizational evolution based on patient needs and wants​
  • Create a consumer-centric culture that permeates every level of the organization, flowing down from the top​
  • Aid in the selection of vendors and partnerships who will best support the patient experience

Benefits of journey maps for clinical and product owners

At the clinical and product owner level, journey maps can help these teams:

  • Develop new products and services that solve patient problems and add value​
  • Ensure the consumer’s voice is loud and clear through product and service ideation and development​
  • Identify areas of clinical importance to consumers, including trends (for example, virtual visits, mental health, and wellness services, to name a few)

Benefits of journey maps for customer care teams

For those teams who interact with consumers directly, journey maps can:

  • Ensure patients, caregivers, and families are met with an on-brand experience when they call for help ​
  • Increase understanding of patient problems, needs, and how to help – especially critical when a care team member’s demographic doesn’t match that of their customers
  • Enable feelings of connectedness and empathy to the member and the brand, providing loyalty-building experiences​
  • Help your team members understand the impact of both planned and sudden life changes and how to best support patients during events

Benefits of journey maps for sales and business development teams

Your team members who are responsible for driving sales and new business can benefit from journey maps as well. Journey maps can help these teams:

  • Better understand the path patients take as they consider new plans or products. ​
  • Anticipate and resolve objections, allowing them to better showcase value propositions that truly resonate. ​
  • Effectively use marketing materials as just-in-time aides during the sales process to support decision-making and enhance consumer knowledge.

This is just a small list — and your organization will likely have several additional teams that will benefit from the knowledge captured in a set of journey maps. Perhaps your HR team can use them to better articulate your organization’s impact on patient care to a potential employee. Or maybe your community outreach team would like to use them to uncover new places to connect with patients.

Journey maps can support an organization in endless ways. As you jump into your next journey map project, consider how different departments can leverage those maps to more deeply engage with audiences and enhance the overall experience patients have with your brand.

Our Digital Health Strategy team helps healthcare organizations create memorable patient experiences that drive brand loyalty. Contact us today for more information.

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Marlana Voerster

Marlana Voerster is a Senior Healthcare Strategist at Perficient, where she works with providers and MedTech, pharma, and digital health organizations to build brand loyalty and enhance the patient experience through customer-centric digital experiences.

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