Why Your Healthcare System Needs a Digital Front Door

Consumers expect healthcare providers to deliver an online user experience that’s as smooth and effortless as the non-healthcare sites they visit. Find out how a “digital front door” can help you become the Amazon of healthcare.

A Digital Front Door in Action

Streamlining someone’s access to care breeds loyalty. That’s why digital front doors have a positive impact on a health system’s bottom line. We’ll go deep and explain the benefits of a digital front door soon, but for now, to understand how the process works, meet “Kate”:

Kate has established care at her local hospital. Kate and her partner are ready to become parents, so she searches for an OB/GYN on her hospital’s website. The front door delivers a list of local providers and their ratings to help Kate choose a provider that meets her needs. An online scheduling module pops up to help her choose an appointment time. She can also access health insurance info related to her upcoming visit, so the cost is transparent.

The new appointment then triggers the system to send Kate a pre-pregnancy questionnaire that she’ll bring to her visit. And since Kate hasn’t received a flu shot this year, a message appears asking if she would like to receive a flu vaccination at the time of her OB/GYN appointment. One week before the visit, Kate receives a confirmation text message, since that is her preferred method of communication. The message gives Kate the option to use mobile check-in, saving time at the clinic.

The front door continues to prompt Kate when she needs routine tests or visits, such as an annual exam or mammogram. The ease with which Kate can access care ensures she’ll continue to choose the local hospital for all of her health needs.

Streamlining someone’s access to care breeds loyalty. That’s why digital front doors have a positive impact on a health system’s bottom line. Click To Tweet

That Was Easy

Online retailers, banks and wireless service providers streamline the way customers receive actionable information — like how the “upgrade plan” button conveniently appears while viewing your over-the-top wireless data usage.

A seamless, user-centered approach is key to lowering healthcare costs while simultaneously improving care — and the front door has the potential to engage users like never before.

The Digital Front Door: A Primer

The potential of a digital front door is enormous. It converts visitors into consumers and increases brand loyalty by helping users with a variety of tasks. They can:

  • Identify a provider
  • Schedule an appointment online
  • View test results
  • Pay a related bill
  • Determine out-of-pocket costs for an upcoming procedure
  • Receive reminders they’re due for a vaccine or screening test
  • Access telehealth or same-day appointments based on a provider search

The Digital Front Door Is a Top-Notch Concierge

The digital front door acts like the stellar concierge at a 5-star hotel. It can:

  • Identify opportunities to engage a consumer
  • Help them quickly and easily find information
  • Assist them with crucial next steps

The tool benefits not only the consumer but also the provider and the system:

Improved access and user experience

A digital front door promotes flexibility and convenience for patients. Any information the consumer seeks is readily available, with related details popping up as well.

Users appreciate when things are easy and straightforward — so this tool increases loyalty and keeps them coming back to you for care. 

Users appreciate when things are easy & straightforward — a digital front door increases loyalty & keeps them coming back to you for care. Click To Tweet

Streamlined provider interaction

Much of the pre-appointment patient interaction is automated, saving time, so the healthcare team can deliver outstanding care during the visit. The system also optimizes schedules and reduces the risk of no-shows. 

Increased system efficiencies

The digital front door triages online visitors using a robust algorithm. The consumer doesn’t need to wait for a provider’s reply to know whether they should make an appointment.

This tool helps consumers convert to a scheduled appointment or another billable encounter without adding burden to administrators or providers. The bottom line is increased revenue.

On-the-Ball Health Systems Offering a Digital Front Door

Thanks to technological advances, health systems such as these are lining up to adopt aspects of this front door:

Atrium Health

Atrium Health offers a digital front door with a symptom tracker. Users can choose how to access care and whether the encounter should be a virtual visit or at an urgent care clinic.

Intermountain Health

The digital front door pilot program at Intermountain Health offers features including online appointment booking, a symptom checker and access to virtual care.

Sentara Healthcare*

Sentara Healthcare will soon roll out a tool that offers online scheduling, access to telehealth options and provider performance data. It also features health plan data, including a price estimator and deductible information.

Open the Door for Better Results

The digital front door is the next big tool for delivering unparalleled user experience. Will your organization invest in its limitless potential?

*Note: This is an Aha Media client.

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About Marti Harris

Marti Harris

For over two decades, Marti has been blending disparate concepts and facts into rich, colorful, targeted and optimized content.  Working within a variety of industries she balances big ideas with audience attributes to create better online content.

At Aha Media she serves as a writer and editor; she helps clients break through the ... More >