top of page

PART THREE: The Patient Journey – Get Swept Away

Research Deliverables that Invite Clients to Share the Journey

At Harper Global, we often get swept away in our work. This is especially true when conducting patient journey research. Part One of this blog series focused on the need and benefit of active empathy when conducting research with patients. Part Two shined a light on our multi-modal, multi-touchpoint approach. But there is always more to the story when you allow yourself to get swept away.


How do you bring the insights from patient journey work to life in a way that allows the client to feel and hear the patient experience? How do you deliver the insights in a way that will facilitate the client's use in making decisions?


Two Critical Success Factors: Creativity and Empathy

Generally, there are two categories of MR deliverables. The first, of course, is the more traditional analysis and report. For some types of research (e.g., concept testing, message testing, etc.), a traditional analysis and report are the best options to deliver the research results and insights.

  • We believe creativity is fundamental to the patient journey research process, from design to back-end analysis. And we embrace the idea that "Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns to look at things differently." (Edward de Bono, the originator of 'lateral thinking' and the author of many books on thinking and creativity)

  • Additionally, as we said in Part One of this series, interacting with patient respondents with Active Empathy allows patients to be vulnerable and to reveal those layers that deliver deeper insights. Looking at things differently is the heart of successful patient journey research. Multi-modal/multi-touchpoint methodologies combined with Active Empathy foster and encourage creativity by delivering varied information.

Therefore, we'll call the second category "Unique deliverables," they tend to be more innovative, creative, and different from the traditional MR report and are often exactly what you need to bring the patient journey to life.

"Unique Deliverables" in Patient Journey Work

In Part Two of this blog series, we introduced a recent project we conducted with individuals living with metastatic cancer. The goal of that work was to shed light on the patient experience from an overall perspective (impact of the diagnosis on their lives, relationships, and sense of self) and a detailed treatment perspective (impact of treatment and the patient's quality of life). To ensure that the time and vulnerability of the patients in the study were honored and that the results had the best chance of impacting the lives of patients in the future, we had to think both seriously and innovatively about the deliverables that would keep their stories alive.

To do this, we created multiple deliverables:

  • A Full Report – This report is traditional in nature and provides a record of what we did, who was involved, and the research results. Clients often require this repost to keep a detailed record of the research.

  • A Journey Metaphor – Sharing insights through the use of a metaphor has several key advantages:

    • Metaphors bring emotion into the subject, helping the audience "feel" the patient experience.

    • Metaphors also help to make the message/information memorable. A strong metaphor can also help when socializing the research results. 

    • It provides a succinct story that encapsulates the key insights.

  • An Emotional Journey Map – A visually impactful summary of the emotional highs and lows of the patient's experience across the journey provides a quick review of what the patient feels at various milestones along the way. 

  • A Transactional Journey Map – A one-page summary of the transactions (medical exams, treatment changes, etc.) that happen along the patient journey helps the client team match the emotional milestones with the treatment changes across the journey.

  • A Video – A 5-minute video provided an overview of the patient journey through clips (audio and video) in the patients' voice. The video was a rich and provocative story-telling option that effectively brings the audience into the patient experience.

  • A Workshop – An interactive workshop designed to share the research results by bringing the patients' stories to the forefront of the discussion through posters of patients, immersive activities, and a presentation of the results. The workshop opened a dialogue with key stakeholders who will carry the patient experience into product development, strategy, and more.

We believe that "Unique Deliverables" are essential across many research projects, but never more so than in patient journey work. Innovative and creative deliverables pack a bigger punch, inspire, and motivate the audience, and have a lasting stickiness that keeps them alive for your clients. Without bringing those insights to life in a way that makes a significant impression on the audience that helps them see, hear, and feel things from the patient's perspective severely limits the impact of the patient journey research.

Patient journey work allows us to get swept away in the patient experience. Employing active empathy and using a multi-modal, multi-touchpoint approach exposes deeper insights that can make a difference to our clients and the lives they touch. This requires a unique approach to patient journey research.

Come get swept away with us! Want to hear more about the Patient Journey Metaphor? Contact us to learn more about our approach to the patient journey.

If you haven’t read Parts One and Two of the Patient Journey series, you can find them here...

29 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page