Consumer Journey Mapping Improves Outcomes and Care Management Client Experience

VNS Health has begun using a strategic tool known as “consumer journey mapping” to improve the experience and outcomes of its patients, clients and members as well as their family members. The tool is currently being piloted by VNS Health’s longitudinal care management program, which provides extended health care support for clients with multiple medical conditions.

“Ordinarily, an organization looks at all consumer interactions from its own internal point of view—but consumer journey mapping presents a view of the experience from the consumer’s perspective,” explains Kristen Mancinelli, Consumer Experience Trainer at VNS Health, who is helping to implement the new tool. “It enables us, the health care team, to understand the consumer’s entire journey, identify what matters most to them, and focus on key areas where their experience can be improved.”

The process, which draws on input from VNS Health’s clients and team members, identifies how the entire consumer experience can be enhanced. “Our goal is to ensure a successful series of interactions, rather than just focus on individual touchpoints—because research shows that’s what leads to better outcomes,” says Chad Ghastin, Vice President, Consumer Experience.

While that planning is still underway, one important action step has already been identified, which is to provide everyone involved in the care management process with a centralized portal containing all relevant information on each client in the program, including their encounters with other parts of the organization. As it happens, VNS Health’s consumer support group launched such a platform, called the VNS Health Hub.

“The Hub will help close the gaps revealed in the mapping process,” notes Ghastin. “The fact that this idea was already in development further validates that our analysis is on the right track.” The consumer journey mapping team is also determining how to measure the project’s impact on client outcomes going forward, using metrics such as hospital readmission rates.