The patient journey framework gives you a practical guide to gathering stories that matter to patients and carers, and relating these stories to wider issues for health services and the health system. This information can identify critical intervention points for improving health outcomes.

People’s stories of health and healthcare can reveal the whole-of-person impacts of a health issue, at each stage in the patient life journey. Stories can demonstrate whether the care and treatment a person has received is patient-centred, at each stage of their journey: for example a story can reveal whether a person gave their fully informed consent to a procedure, whether they were provided with sufficient information about their condition, and whether they were involved in decision-making about their care.

Stories can show when and how policies and programs that sit outside the health system impact on a person’s health and their health outcomes. It’s not necessary to enquire directly about these issues in interviews – they will emerge along with other experiences that are important to the storyteller.

The framework below summarises experiences that are common at each stage of the patient life journey; and lists indicators of patient-centred care and good health outcomes that apply at each of these stages. The framework also summarises what stories can tell us about individual experiences of health and healthcare, and about health service and health system issues, at each stage of the patient life journey.