Publication on how to create Patient Journey Value Maps

In September 2023, I attended the conference “Mensch und Computer” (MuC) in Rapperswil (Switzerland), where I presented during a workshop (see previous post here). Next to the workshop paper, we also had a full paper accepted at the conference, which was written by Michael Bui, Kira Oberschmidt and me: Patient Journey Value Mapping: Illustrating values and experiences along the patient journey to support eHealth design (see the full open access publication here).

What is the paper about?

The paper describes a method how to identify values of patients (i.e., what patients consider important in life) along the patient journey in rehabilitation care. Values of patient or their priorities may change over the time of their rehabilitation, which may be very important when designing care paths or eHealth services. We applied several methods (critical incident interviews, individual diaries, interactive workshops) to develop a patient journey value map, where phases and events of the journey along with emotions, insights and key values are mapped. We learned not only what is important for patients in their rehabilitation, but also reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of the approach.

What is the story behind the study?

My research line is about value sensitive eHealth design and when aiming to account for human values in the design of technology, it is of course crucial to first identify what people actually do consider important, i.e. what their values are. This is however not trivial. How do you know what your values are? We had the idea that emotions and values are closely connected and that if you have very positive or very negative emotions, the underlying reason may be connected to your values. For example, if you have a very positive experience with a nurse in the hospital, this might be connected to the nurse taking you seriously and you feel heard. One way to get to these experiences is to identify and reflect on critical incidents. I have used critical incident technique in my research before, 1 and thought this might be a great way to combine with patient journeys, as both are narrative methods and allow patients to tell and reflect on their journey.

What are my reflections on patient journey value mapping?

I consider the patient journey value map template very useful for future studies and a great way to discover together with patient what is important to them. As we pointed out in the paper, there are some weaknesses that can be addressed in the future. Michael included a lot of different methods (interviews, diary study, workshop) which may be difficult or not feasible to carry out when resources (e.g., time) is scarce. In a follow-up study, we slightly changed the method to see whether it is possible to identify values along the patient journey with a less resource-intensive set-up. This paper is currently under review.

Michael did a fabulous job, shaping all the details in the design of the study and I was very impressed with the depth of his analysis and reflection. He not only carried out a qualitative study, learning about values of patients during their rehabilitation care. He also developed a tool for future studies to identify values along the patient journey, which takes a really deep understanding of research methods and a reflection on his own process.

In my experience, it almost never happens that an internship leads to a full paper. This is mainly the result of Michael’s fantastic work and the daily supervision by Kira Oberschmidt. I was very proud to see Michael present at the Mensch & Computer conference so that the Human-Computer Interaction community can see the great work he did. I consider myself lucky, that I met Michael and had the opportunity to work with him. Considering, that he really did a lot of different things, it was impressive to see him presenting his work in a way that really brings to the front the contributions and the added value of patient journey value mapping. Luckily, the presentation was recorded, so you are can also watch his presentation here:






  1. “Using critical incidents in workshops to inform eHealth design”, Christiane Grünloh, Jean D. Hallewell Haslwanter, Bridget Kane, Eunji Lee, Thomas Lind, Jonas Moll, Hanife Rexhepi, Isabella Scandurra. 2017. INTERACT 2017, Part I, LNCS 10513, pp. 364–373)
Values, VSD, VSD4eHealth
Participatory and Socially Responsible Technology Development – Workshop at MuC 2023
Pharaon Final Conference & ForItAAL 2024

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