The Digital Patient Care Journey: A Roadmap to Better Experiences

Man happily driving a car

In today's value-based healthcare ecosystem, outcomes matter. Healthcare providers must find a way to balance delivering high-quality care while managing costs. Patients are no longer passive recipients of healthcare but active consumers with higher expectations. 

Whether it’s from increased access to information, advances in technology, or the growing emphasis on empowerment, patients are becoming more proactive about their healthcare experience. As it turns out, when organizations prioritize individualized, patient-centered care, they see positive results like improved health outcomes, lower costs, and stronger relationships between patients and clinicians.

Here, we’ll explore the advantages of tailoring the patient care journey and how to approach (and overcome) obstacles with the right digital tools, particularly for those in behavioral health and human services.

Understanding the Different Elements of the Patient Healthcare Journey

Behavioral health conditions vary greatly. Personalization allows providers to understand the unique needs and circumstances of each patient. When you tailor treatment plans to each patient’s specific needs, you can improve the effectiveness of interventions and increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. 

While it can be challenging to provide patients with such a high level of personalized care, the good news is, with the help of technology, you can deliver this type of customized care and meet patient expectations more easily.

Patient journey mapping analyzes patients' progression through the healthcare system. It does so by capturing data at various touchpoints and patient interactions. Journey mapping helps patients by addressing inefficiencies and pain points along the way to provide a more seamless and positive patient experience.

On the other hand, personalized care planning focuses on creating customized care plans for each patient. Care planning considers a patient's medical history, preferences, and goals to optimize treatment approaches, improve outcomes, and boost patient satisfaction. 

By combining these concepts, you can create a more holistic approach to healthcare. This integration allows providers to chart a smooth course through programming or recovery that takes into consideration the patient’s needs, goals, and perspectives while empowering patients through shared decision-making. 

Benefits of Patient Care Journeys

The patient care journey shifts health care from reactive to proactive, allowing healthcare service providers to predict service gaps and establish preventative routines that promote better health outcomes

Positive patient experiences are more likely to result in patient retention and potentially lead to future referrals. According to the Beryl Institute, more than half of patients are likely to share a positive experience while roughly the same amount will tell others about a negative experience they’ve had with a health provider or team. Moreover, if a patient has a negative experience, more than 25% will not return to follow up with that care provider, and about 21% may seek out a different doctor or medical facility.

Personalized patient care journeys are exceedingly important in behavioral health. However, they tend to be underused. One study found that less than half of respondents used personalized care planning and shared decision-making even though both types of collaborative care were effective in decreasing depression and anxiety symptoms, improving medication adherence, and reducing healthcare costs. This represents an opportunity for behavioral health to adopt collaborative models to which patient care journeys could contribute. 

Other benefits for providers and patients include:

  1. Access to care: Patients log in and view their digital care plan from any device 24/7 as long as they have an internet or data connection.
  2. Resources: Educational resources help patients learn about their condition, relapse prevention strategies, and treatment options. These resources help patients engage with peers or take interactive videos, quizzes, or assessments.
  3. Data insights: Digital care plans help healthcare providers make data-driven decisions and optimize care delivery by tracking patient progress and providing real-time data about patient engagement (PE).
  4. Communication: Using digital care plans, patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers can communicate securely, resulting in a more integrated and collaborative care system.
  5. Collaboration: Creating a care plan that considers the patient's goals can foster trust and boost patient retention and engagement.

Overcoming Barriers Through Technology

Patient care journey: employee using a computer

There are logistic and technological barriers to implementing patient engagement programs that include personalized care journeys. For one, some healthcare organizations face challenges in identifying all touchpoints in the patient journey. 

Overcoming resistance to change and a lack of technological resources when implementing patient care journeys is another challenge. Furthermore, creating an individual care plan manually is time-consuming.

Fortunately, by partnering with a vendor offering advanced digital solutions, such as a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) and mobile-friendly patient engagement solutions, you can speed up adoption and improve patient outcomes. 

Once implemented, digital care plans can revolutionize how you deliver personalized care and engage with your patients. Automation simplifies planning and improves resource allocation while giving you full control of scheduling interactive content delivery at any cadence. 

Providing the right resources at the right time can improve a patient’s adherence to treatment plans, boost engagement between appointments even after programming ends, and meet expectations for a highly personalized patient experience.

The CaredFor App: Enhancing Patient Care With Care Journeys

The CaredFor app is a cutting-edge patient engagement platform designed to help healthcare providers deliver personalized and automated patient care experiences. 

With its unique Care Journeys feature, the app enables providers to create configurable, step-by-step experiences for individuals or groups of patients. These targeted experiences include a wide range of activities, such as journaling, reading articles, completing surveys, and accessing educational resources.

Care Journeys provide healthcare professionals with a powerful tool for synchronizing patient journey mapping and personalized care planning. With Care Journeys, providers can visualize the patient's entire care journey, identify opportunities for custom interventions, and create tailored care plans that address each patient's needs and preferences.

The CaredFor app offers numerous features, including the following: 

  • Personalized Care Plans: Tailored and interactive care plans personalized to each individual's needs and preferences
  • Care Management: Assistance with scheduling appointments and access to healthcare providers when needed
  • Family Engagement: Tools to keep family members informed and involved in the care process
  • Communication: Secure messaging and video conferencing capabilities for communication between patients and healthcare providers
  • Education and Resources: Access to educational materials and resources to help patients and their families better understand their condition and treatment options 
  • Appointment Reminders: Automated reminders for patients when they have an upcoming appointment to reduce no-shows
  • Health Analytics: Data analysis and reporting tools to track patient progress and help healthcare providers make informed decisions
  • Support Groups: Access to online support groups and resources for patients, their families, and alumni

Consider Patient Care Journeys as Part of a Larger Engagement Strategy 

Patient care journey: entrepreneur having a video call using a laptop

Today's patients expect more from their healthcare experience. They’re no longer passive care recipients; they’re active stakeholders in their health journey. As such, they demand a personalized, value-based approach to care that engages them at every stage of the patient journey, from pre-visit through follow-up care.

ContinuumCloud’s CaredFor app features Care Journeys, a tool for healthcare providers to create personalized and customizable experiences for individuals or groups. The app includes various activities like journaling, reading articles, and completing surveys to keep patients and alumni motivated.

To expand the continuum of care beyond traditional appointments, providers can easily build Care Journeys that focus on specific conditions, themes, or scenarios aligned with treatment goals. 

Thanks to the CaredFor app, providers can create a broad PE strategy with opportunities for ongoing engagement beyond the initial encounter through regular follow-ups, reminders, and health promotion campaigns to foster long-term relationships and promote patient well-being.

Connect with us today to learn more about meeting patient expectations and implementing Care Journeys as part of a larger patient engagement strategy.

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