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Mining the Patient Ecosystem: How Market Research Can Help you Understand the Patient’s Journey

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In recent years, the major players in the healthcare industry have shifted focus to include a more holistic approach to care that puts the patient first. This includes dedicating resources to patient support, enrichment, and advocacy.

While there are several ways companies work to improve patient care, market research and clinical data are at the heart of these upward changes. Why? Because research provides valuable insight into patient experiences.

Here are some of the ways you can use market research to learn more about your patients and improve your services.

Develop Online Communities

Online communities are useful to patients for several reasons. First and foremost, it gives patients the opportunity to discuss healthcare issues with patients who are going through a similar experience. While family and HCPs can provide peace and comfort to patients, on online community can help patients connect with other people who truly understand their needs. This tool is an excellent way for patients who cannot meet up with other people to connect in meaningful ways.

Furthermore, public information posted on online communities acts as helpful qualitative data. When you explore search terms, track social media, and use other methods to comb through data, you can glean insights about patient care, understand real patient experiences, and access information from the patient perspective on how you can better improve the patient journey.

If you’re worried about what your patients might think of you passively tracking online communities, don’t. 54% of patients say they are very comfortable with their providers seeking advice from online communities on how to better treat patients—especially if it can improve their experience.

Leverage Social Media

 Social media is gaining popularity as an effective tool for conducting market research. Social media can help you track trends, gain real-time insights, understand your patients, and broaden the scope of your market research to improve patient care.

In regards to health care, it’s beneficial to know the results of a study from Price Waterhouse Cooper: 30% of adults say they will likely share information about their health on social media sites with other patients, 47% will share will doctors, 43% will share with hospitals, 38% will share information with a health insurance company, and 32% with a drug company.

If patients are willing to share information about their health, this is an amazing opportunity to gain insights into making their journey better.

Use Patient Journey Mapping

Another successful market research tool for improving the patient ecosystem is with patient journey mapping.

Patient journey mapping is where you map out the story of your patient’s overall experience. You start with the very first interaction they have with your organization, move through the process of engagement, and develop the map through your long-term relationship.

This market research method gives you vital insights into how your patients truly feel about you and your organization. When you analyze the data, you identify potential administrative and care problems, learn patient expectations, and find ways you can better your organization.

 Wrap Up

 Healthcare organizations of all types are working hard to improve patient care, and the best way to do that is to find out what your patients need right from your patients. Use the market research tools listed above to streamline your research, gain insights, and, ultimately, improve your health care practices.