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Patient journey: implications for improving and integrating care for older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
How Patient Journey Maps Improve
Healthcare Apps
In 2016 about 280 million mobile phone users downloaded health apps and in 2014 the number of mHealth apps used worldwide rose to over 40,000. At the same time, the proportion of clinicians using mobile technology to collect data at the bedside rose to 45%, up 15 points from 2011. It’s clear there’s a big opportunity to create compelling healthcare software applications and a patient journey map can help.

Patient journey maps help organizations understand the customers’ experience at each step along the way of their journey from the very beginning to the very end. They are a holistic and graphical overview of the various touch points a person has throughout their experience as a patient.
Many patients, particularly older patients, interact with multiple providers while accessing health care services in a variety of different settings over extended periods of time. Understanding older patients' experiences of their journeys through the health system is critical to improving service integration and quality of care. In this study, we have summarized the experiences of four patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as they interacted with the health care system over a three-month period following hospital discharge. Guided by case study methodology, we gathered data through semi-structured interviews and patient logs. Three overarching themes - social support, system navigation, and access - emerged from the data. Attending to provider-patient and provider-provider communication, and to patient social support and self-care needs, could improve integration and care outcomes. Achieving what patients perceive as an integrated and effective system will require time and commitment.
Improving the Patient Experience of Clinical Trials
Clinical trials, undertaken with real patients, are a critical part of bringing a new medicine to life. Last year alone, more than 630,000 NHS patients in England took part in clinical research studies1, helping develop the medicines of tomorrow.

These studies are made possible by the people who agree to take part in them, allowing researchers to measure the effects of a potential new medicine and sharing how the medication affects them and the way they live their lives.
Mapping the Patient Journey: A Case Study
Many healthcare organizations today are focusing on understanding the patient journey, as they operate in a competitive landscape that is driven by Meaningful Use policies and regulations that focus on demonstrating effective use of technology to improve patient care, satisfaction and experience.

At the same time, the inherent fragmentation of care, further magnified by the rapid proliferation and popularity of urgent care clinics, can diminish the return on investments for quality improvement projects. In part this is because transforming raw patient care data into contextual, accurate and reliable medical information is extremely difficult.
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