Improve Healthcare's Digital Front Door Using Patient-Centered Strategies
Digital healthcare has gone from a “nice-to-have” commodity for providers to one of the must-have pieces of technology in the industry. Organizations that are able to scale their services into digital formats are seeing higher patient satisfaction even during the pandemic.
This is where digital front doors come in.
Digital front doors aren’t single pieces of tech or software that you can just integrate into your system. It’s a collection of services, a strategy if you will, that enhances your patients’ healthcare journeys and provides a pathway for more robust care provision.
In this article, we’ll be diving into the mini-strategies that make digital front door strategies work by taking a patient-centric perspective into bettering your network.
What is a Digital Front Door Strategy?
But just what is a digital front door?
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s important to know that a digital front door isn’t a piece of technology that you can implement as a one-time solution. It’s a strategy, a set of different services and products that allow patients to guide their own healthcare journeys.
It’s all about engaging patients at specific points in their respective paths and giving them the tools they need to access specific services. As such, digital front door strategies focus on using different digital services to expand overall access, improve productivity, and drive patient satisfaction.
Patients often face the problem of having to remember a dozen different passwords for a variety of programs and healthcare accounts. This contributes to the wider issue of a fragmented healthcare system in the U.S.
A digital front door improves this process by creating a single path where patients have all the digital access that they need to get the right care.
For instance, patients can find COVID-19 testing centers while talking to their providers about how to self-isolate. Another patient might lead an entirely different healthcare journey, instead, finding COVID-19 resource guides and administering self-care.
The more control you give patients in setting up their own schedules, appointments, and guiding their own level of care, the more effective your digital front doors become.
What to Consider When Building a Digital Front Door Strategy
Say you’re still skeptical about adopting a digital front door strategy. No worries, we can help you clear up any concerns.
For instance, here are some key considerations about DFD strategies that might benefit your organization:
What’s the first thing patients do when they’re not feeling well? It’s checking their symptoms online of course.
If they can access a digital front door to find out about their symptoms, they’re likely to get a much more accurate diagnosis. These kinds of services will allow you to become a trusted source of information.
This means patients will market your services practically for you through word of mouth.
Effective Patient Treatments
Like we said, patients, look to the internet to diagnose symptoms. But how often do you get an exaggerated version of your actual condition?
That’s why consulting a doctor is much simpler, but patients can’t always visit their local clinic. With digital front door strategies, they have the means of contacting a provider in just a few minutes.
Whether it’s over text or a quick virtual consultation, patients can get effective diagnoses that lead to proper treatments. Much better than WebMD we’d say.
Integrations allow you to continuously engage your patients before and after certain treatments. This is perfect for post-surgery consultations, as providers can monitor their patients’ vitals and give them quick checkups from week to week.
Chronically ill patients will also benefit from not having to visit their providers constantly since many of their checkups can be done virtually through DFD technology.
What Patients Will Look for Within Digital Front Doors
Decided to take on your own digital front door program? Great!
If you’re not sure how to begin building it, a great place to start is by simply embodying your patient’s needs and wants. Sure you’ll need things like online pay and virtual appointments, but how do you tailor them in a way that patients will actually want to engage with them?
Let’s look at a few strategies here:
More patients than ever are looking for online consultations and convenient healthcare provision on the internet. The greater your online visibility and overall awareness of your digital healthcare product, the more your service will actually be used.
Leveraging the right marketing techniques while also letting your current patients know about your digital front door capabilities are both keys. In a time where patients are eager to find healthcare options that don’t involve in-person visits, now’s the perfect time to increase your exposure.
Make your DFD strategy as easy to pick up as possible. Most patients lack neither the time nor the knowledge of traversing through a complex digital healthcare system.
Streamlining the process of signing up for your digital front door service and being able to access real services should be as short as possible. Things like video tutorials and other guides will make it easier for less tech-savvy patients to properly engage with your product.
Opportunities for Feedback
Just as a business improves by gathering feedback from their customers and staff, healthcare organizations can better their DFD strategy by soliciting feedback from their patients.
Short surveys in regular intervals will do wonders in terms of improving your service suite and the vitality of your DFD strategy as a whole. Getting criticism from your patients will be equally important, as making their jobs easier on the administrative end will do wonders for your organization as a whole.
Accessibility isn’t just about making attractive and intuitive UIs (though that is still crucial). Healthcare is already available to large pockets of the population, so your DFD strategy should incorporate accessibility protocol to let just about anyone use your system effectively.
This means adding services for the hearing impaired, adding multiple language functionality, voice activation, etc.
Final Touch Points
When your patients are just about done on their healthcare journey, the very last thing they do on your platform should leave a positive impression. It should incorporate something like scheduling future appointments, contacting local pharmacies, or adding something of value so patients don’t close out their browser feeling unfulfilled.
Invest in the Right Digital Front Door Strategies Today
Integrating a digital front door strategy isn’t about providing a slew of services arbitrarily – it’s about creating a service that’s actually valuable to patients. Use this guide to find that niche for your patient base and create an effective DFD strategy today.
For more information on digital front door technology, visit our resources page.