Siemens Healthineers is a leading medical engineering company that develops innovative technologies and services to provide patients and medical staff with the best possible support. Their key business areas are diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, laboratory diagnostics, molecular medicine as well as digital services and hospital management.
The company looks back on 120 years of experience and 18,500 patents. Siemens Healthineers is constantly working on bringing innovations into practice and is actively shaping the development of the healthcare sector.
Patient experience has long been a high priority at Siemens Healthineers. Even though patients are generally not direct customers of Siemens Healthineers, they assess the experience with the devices and are directly affected by them. Patients who feel comfortable are more likely to recommend the institution to others and to return to it. Treatment times – and thus treatment costs – can be reduced if patients are less stressed.
In order to specifically identify potential for improving the patient experience and to be able to base future decisions on reliable data, the entire patient journey was to be examined in detail as part of a comprehensive user research project.
The main research question was:
Which feelings, experiences and difficulties do patients have in the context of imaging diagnostics in each step of their patient journey?
After a kick-off meeting with Siemens Healthineers to clarify the project framework and research questions, the project was implemented in three phases:
1. Patient interviews: The first step was to determine the user journey from the perspective of the central target group, the patients. For this purpose, in-depth interviews with patients were conducted, focusing on actions, emotions, and pain points along the patient journey.
2. Interviews with radiologists and radiological staff completed the findings of the patient interviews. The interviews were conducted in radiology practices as well as hospitals.
3. In the further course of the project it became apparent that the target group of referring physicians (e.g. family doctor) also plays an important role. Therefore, the research was expanded and interviews with referring physicians complemented the diagnostic journey.
The results of all interviews were evaluated in detail. The findings as well as the resulting opportunities were illustrated in an extensive Patient Experience Map.
As a result, Siemens Healthineers received an interactive Patient Experience Map for all three target groups. For all phases of imaging diagnostics, the map contains activities, emotions, needs, pain points, opportunities, and quotes of the target groups.
The project supported the known difficulties from the hospitals' point of view and thus facilitated a better understanding of the problems and the creation of even better solutions. Experiencing the direct patient perspective, not – like before at Siemens Healthineers – through the lens of hospitals and radiologists, was uncharted territory and of enormous importance.
The insights are now available for various patient experience projects and can be used to provide even better solutions for patients – directly or indirectly. The results present opportunities that go beyond the usual business areas of Siemens Healthineers and are therefore particularly important for shaping visions and innovations.