More than 600,000 total knee replacements are performed annually in the United States, making it one of the most common major surgical procedures. But how can hospitals innovate and optimize the knee replacement patient experience to provide patients with the highest quality of care? What are the obstacles patients face in accessing care? How can we deliver a better patient experience during treatment? In what ways can we support patients after treatment ends?
What We Did
Applied Marketing Science (AMS) investigated the stages of the patient journey, including tasks, touchpoints and underlying functional, emotional and medical needs. We evaluated the end-to-end customer experience among those considering knee replacement, those who recently underwent knee replacement and those in recovery, using a combination of digital desk research, qualitative online diaries and in-depth interviews with patients. Topics covered the full range of the patient experience throughout the journey, providing a detailed understanding of the:
- Different stages patients experience
- Key moments that matter within each stage
- Most difficult tasks for patients to accomplish
- Various touchpoints or individuals that patients interact with
- Most critical, unmet needs that patients seek to satisfy
- Types of patient personas who go through the journey, and how their experiences differ
Our patient experience research uncovered the need to set patient expectations throughout the journey, especially during and after surgery. We identified the most critical moment of truth in the knee replacement journey as getting patients to commit to surgery. Many patients wait to commit until knee pain severely affects their quality of life because they are uncertain about both the surgery itself and the recovery; patients don’t know what to expect, so they don’t commit. As a result of this research, we were able to recommend concrete steps to encourage patients to commit to surgery sooner and provide several strategies to make recovery expectations as transparent and simple as possible. We were able to pinpoint where patient expectations were met, and where there was room for improvement. By understanding the patient journey, we uncovered the detailed and actionable qualitative insights necessary to build care delivery solutions to best meet patients’ needs.