Patient Journey – How can It be captured through Social Media Listening?

What is a Patient Journey?

A Patient Journey refers to the patient’s physical and emotional experience throughout the environment of care, starting from the appearance of symptoms, to the diagnosis of a disease, to doctor’s treatment, to admission and discharge in a hospital and post treatment care. It is an ongoing process that includes all parts of the healthcare ecosystem from hospitals to doctors, specialty care, outpatient treatment, nurses and rehabilitation providers and caregivers.

The focus on a patient journey, in healthcare organizations, is growing day by day with growing focus on patient outcomes. Healthcare services are trying harder to better understand the patient’s expectations and find new ways to improve the patient’s journey.

To remain competitive in the market and to better serve patient needs, healthcare providers are now considering patients at the forefront of every decision making and are working hard to improve the healthcare experience and keep patients within their radar.

Benefits of Understanding a Patient Journey

While traversing a disease path, a patient passes through multiple steps. Understanding every step in the patient journey is important and can help the Healthcare organization in uncovering important insights.

  •       Firstly, a patient journey can help understand the symptoms and triggers a patient faces, while the appearance of first symptoms. This can help the organizations in creating key messages for communication, which will resonate with the patients.
  •       Secondly, a patient journey can highlight the issues a patient faces while accessing care. A patient experience can help you understand how a patient gets over the initial situation of seeking a diagnosis.
  •       Thirdly, understanding a patient’s journey can help in delivering an empathetic experience during the treatment of the patients. Not only for rare diseases but also for other chronic conditions, the patient has to undergo various complications including specialized and complex medical care, financial turmoil, personal relationships complications, and emotional challenges. Understanding a patient’s journey can help address these challenges to some extent and create more opportunities for patient’s well-being and safety.
  •       Finally, post-treatment, patient’s recovery and rehabilitation is an important step. Educating the patients, giving them proper guidance, removing the blind spots, improving support and follow-up after discharge, and giving proper reminders for continued care can help in improving a patient’s experience in a better way.

 

The below graphic by ERN GENTURIS illustrates an innovative visual approach to capture the patient journey and utilize it effectively, to improve the patient’s experience at every stage of the journey. (3)

Image source: genturis.eu

Why does a Patient Journey matter and How Social Media Listening can help? 

Patient experience and satisfaction are the single most important aspect in assessing the quality of specialty care provided to the patients. (1)

Patients and Physicians engage in conversations on social media channels to discuss the health problems the patients are facing. They discuss the medications and treatments, give and receive advice. They also use various specialty forums to discuss diseases, symptoms, triggers, and side effects. These online conversations on healthy subjects are genuine, unprompted, and direct offering an opportunity to collect data that is not previously available. Deep insights can be collected by extracting and analyzing these discussions which can be used by healthcare services to create strategies to improve the quality of care, increase efficiency and improve the patient’s satisfaction.

 

Health care services should create ways that will push the engagement throughout a patient’s experience. This can be achieved by gathering as much data as possible of the patient’s experience from the early indication of the disease to the awareness stage, diagnosis, and follow-up. Social Listening is a perfect channel to get honest and real-time insights at all these stages.

 How can Patients’ Journey be captured through Social Media Listening?

Now when we agree that Patient Journey data is very important for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers, for giving them information on how they can make the lives of the patients better and remain ahead of the competition, let’s understand how this can be captured. Healthcare companies need to approach platforms that mine valuable data, extract them, and utilize complex technological measures to derive meaningful insights from the data.

SocialBI is one such platform. It is an efficient Social Listening tool that mines over 5mn conversations and discussions of patients and physicians, available on social media platforms and various patient forums, processes it through complex Artificial Intelligence/Machine learning and Natural language processing algorithms to uncover valuable insights, unmet needs and treatment gaps in a patient’s journey. Some of the meaningful insights covered by SocialBI are related to ‘Treatment SoV’, ‘Treatment Switch behavior’, ‘Drug Efficacy and Safety perceptions’, ‘Detailed Patient journeys’. 

SocialBI provides these in-depth marketing insights practically in real-time without any manual intervention. These insights can help pharma companies in understanding patient’s experiences, and sentiments which could further help them in improving their quality of pharmaceutical research, by allocating their resources and efforts in the right places as per the changing requirements.

                                            

The above illustration shows the detailed patient journey of Asthma patients, from awareness to diagnosis to treatment to follow-up stage of the disease, analyzed by PharmaScroll. Patients undergoing treatment on Seretide, have Allergy as the most common trigger, and Chest Tightness as the most common symptom. These patients typically undergo Allergy tests, ECG, CT Scans, and Bronchodilator assessments for the confirmed diagnosis of Asthma. After Seretide, the majority of patients are switched to Symbicort, Foster, Spiriva, and Dulera respectively.

The above insights can be very useful for the Brand Managers to understand the unmet needs of the patients, and create the right communication, and research strategy for Asthma patients.

Conclusion

By understanding the patient journey, healthcare services can remain abreast with the latest disease and treatment trends, understand the changing needs of patients, and deliver successful patient experiences with improved quality and efficiency. The Social Media Listening tools such as SocialBI from PharmaScroll can help extract relevant data from patient conversations and analyze it to come up with useful insights that can enable the pharma companies to work towards improving patients’ journey at large.

 References

  1. Gupta D, Rodeghier M, Lis CG. Patient satisfaction with service quality as a predictor of survival outcomes in breast cancer. Supportive Care Cancer Off J Multi Natl Assoc Supportive Care Cancer. 2014;22:129–34. Google Scholar
  2. https://www.prophet.com/2016/03/patient-experience-rethinking-the-healthcare-journey/
  3. https://www.genturis.eu/l=eng/Home.html