Mapping Through Empathy

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July 15, 2022



By Melanie Harris and Tim Spence

There is a simple truth to patients’ relationship with healthcare: Most times, patients and families do not want to be at a healthcare facility. First impressions are just the start of the journey. Intuitive clarity is of central importance.

From the moment patients and families enter a facility, their experience of navigating the site and then the various encounters within the facility must be efficient, seamless and humane. If they are overwhelmed and confused about where to go, who to speak with and technology that is difficult to use, their anxiety is only heightened. To avoid this problem, think of touchpoints in a journey. By aligning the empathy map to the touchpoints, outcomes can start to reveal themselves.

Mapping the patient’s journey through an empathy lens can uncover opportunities for optimizing the environment so it feels personal and empowering. The future holds even more promise, as the ability to personalize a patient’s preference—with music, aromatherapy, custom lighting, etc.—can add another level of personalization to the process. Seeing beyond the property boundaries that often isolate healthcare facilities into islands, organizations can build welcoming and enticing communities of health that send each patient back home feeling valued and understood.

Mapping Through Empathy