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Medical Devices and MedTech

Patient Journey: 4 Key Aspects to Telling Healthcare Stories

By Akhila Sriram on September 27, 2021

As seen in stories since the dawn of time, a character’s journey is never a simple or linear endeavor. A journey comes along with characters, obstacles, and key events that can twist and change the route. The path may look straightforward, especially to observers, but it seldom truly is a linear path. Nowhere is this complexity of journeying truer than when applied to the modern-day healthcare sector. Our health depends on several variables, support systems, and characters. Our decisions and tracking of health information can greatly impact how our health improves or persists over time.

Thus, the journey can become a complicated tangle, and parsing the necessary aspects and data from the tangle can be difficult without understanding the key aspects that determine and describe the healthcare journey of a patient. We’ve broken down the patient journey into its story-like aspects, to showcase how to better understand the story told by healthcare data.

Settings of the Patient Journey

Healthcare impacts everything about the human journey, since our health is vital for anything and everything we do. From regular outpatient care to more intensive or invasive inpatient care, to remote or routine in-home care, we’re constantly taking actions related to our health and making decisions that impact our health or the health of those around us. And it’s vital for healthcare and healthcare-adjacent organizations to be plugged into all necessary settings to gather all possible data on their patients. Some businesses may care about more settings or applications of patient data than others.

When it comes to medical technology, inpatient and at-home settings would matter more, for tracking the use and insertion of medical devices. And this way, they can track the data regarding patient experiences with their technology and devices. For insurance payers, outpatient and inpatient settings alike determine how money in healthcare is being spent and how best to optimize that spending for patient needs. For pharmaceutical companies, all settings of healthcare where a specific product could be prescribed, administered, or used for patients would be crucial for business decisions. By tracking patient response and health outcomes regarding a specific product, product-specific strategies in pharma can be designed better garding real-time response data.

Important Characters in the Patient Journey

When it comes to healthcare, so many support systems and staff are involved in the care for a patient’s health. From the patient and their personal and family network to the staff at a healthcare organization, to the behind-the-scenes staff in charge of administration and payment. So many people need to be coordinated to deliver effective and thorough healthcare. Safely collecting information on and from all of these stakeholders in the patient journey is especially important in healthcare. Health data is sensitive and heavily protected, by regulations such as HIPAA, so abiding by these regulations while understanding everyone involved in healthcare is key.

Obstacles Along the Way

From making sure payment is coordinated, to making sure all of the necessary supplies and resources are available for a patient, obstacles and issues can crop up at every step of the patient journey. And of course, the health of a patient itself may become more complex and involved. From chronic conditions to more serious and critical health conditions, patients may need more or less intensive care, as well as more or less frequent check-ins with professionals in order to monitor their health progress.

Chronic or lifelong conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, can feel like iterative loops to patients, who will continue to monitor and manage their condition for the rest of their life after their diagnosis. Adverse events, such as heart attacks, strokes, or other serious outcomes can be life-changing in a different way, suddenly changing a person’s outlook on how they take care of themselves and track their own health. Health conditions are the most powerful force within the patient journey, either slowly developing in a person, showing up based on family and genetic history, or suddenly occurring due to external factors.

Tracking Your Patients Along their Journeys

Gathering all necessary data along the way is crucial for organizations related to healthcare to have the necessary information to make their decisions. This data can come from patient forms, physician notes, medical device monitoring, payment invoices, and messages within a specific patient’s care team. Sources of data can include electronic health records, paper patient files, wearable technology, health related apps, and correspondence between principal care physicians, specialists, and carers. Collecting all of this data can lead to huge amounts of data that can’t be feasibly parsed or understood, so businesses must pair such data collection with algorithms and technology that can handle all that data.

OSG, Your Patient Journey Mapping Partner

With our analytics offering OSG o360, our technology can help your organization gather all the necessary stakeholder data for understanding the patient journey. From collecting patient, physician, health tracking, and payer data, our platform can help your business make better decisions for patient health outcomes. Understanding and tracking the journey of your patients can help understand opportunities for innovating and improving their experience. And our product is designed to capture a 360-degree view of your patients, based on all of their settings of care. This comprehensive picture can help healthcare organizations prioritize energy and money to how best to improve patient and community health needs. Our technology platform can digest data from both structured and unstructured sources, gathering everything from survey responses to wearable technology health monitoring data. This way, your business gets the insights for making big decisions from the variety of data sources in the healthcare world.

Contact us for more information on how our solutions and technology can help your business grow and evolve. We hope to hear from you soon!