This exercise involves mapping an experience over time—looking at the interaction of a product, service or experience from the patient (or provider’s) point of view from its start to its perceived finish.

Mapping patient relationships is helpful to identify reoccurring patterns and opportunities to streamline and enhance the experience and the relationship between users and organizations over time. It is a collective analysis of touch points and an assessment of positive and negative influences on customer relationships.

These maps can be used to uncover opportunities to enhance the patient experience and also convey the value in shifting a marketing or engagement strategy. Clinical and non-clinical leaders move fast to accomplish a multitude of tasks in a short amount of time. Through this, it is critical to remember that every direct (or indirect) encounter has the potential to impact the experience and perception of users of your brand.

We recommend conducting the appropriate user research prior to engaging in this exercise. Be cognizant of your organization’s policies and procedures when conducting research.

How to Get Started

  1. Identify target user groups including patients, providers and caregivers along with key characteristics.
  2. Visually map out each touch point of engagement between the user and the healthcare product, service and experience—consider before, during and after the engagement. What initiates engagement? Does engagement with this product, service or experience reoccur? How is the experience maintained? Does the engagement ever actually ‘end’?
  3. What disconnect or missed opportunities exist in considering the long-term relationship between the user and the product, service or experience? What interactions in the short term have the potential to impact the development of a long-term relationship?
  4. Use these insights to provide focus and prioritization on your topic of exploration and to shed light on enhancing the engagement and experience of patients, providers and caregivers. 

Healthcare is about relationships—authentic, meaningful, trusted relationships. As a healthcare leader, you are charged with guiding and supporting the communities that you serve. This is no small undertaking and must be done responsibly. Critically evaluate your efforts in driving engagement with your community. Is your organization a health improvement organization?