The healthcare industry is currently undergoing a transition in which patients are pushing healthcare organizations to provide more patient-centric experiences and services. Patients are used to the convenience and ease that digitalization has brought to other industries and are now expecting the same experience when managing their healthcare.
A healthcare digital front door is a great solution that benefits healthcare organizations and patients alike. A digital front door consolidates in-demand patients’ tools in one platform that can be accessed with a single login, similar to what patients are used to when engaging with banking and retail institutions. With a digital front door system, patients can interact with their healthcare provider as needed through options such as appointment scheduling, direct messaging, and medication management. Following are several top features to consider when implementing a digital front door.
From a technological standpoint, the following key components ensure that the digital front door is safe, secure, and easy for patients to use and that it also fits with the providers’ workflow.
1. Single Point of Entry
The main component of a solid digital front door is a single point of entry. Trying to manage multiple apps or websites is not only frustrating from a patient standpoint, but it is also challenging to manage for the healthcare organization. Furthermore, the use of different third-party apps can put patient data more at risk.
A digital front door solves this problem by providing an app that consolidates different software for patient engagement, into one easy-to-use platform, which also facilitates HIPAA compliance and helps prevent security breaches.
2. Seamless Integrations
A digital front door benefits workflows by allowing healthcare providers to continue using their accustomed systems, all synthesized in an easy and meaningful way. A platform with seamless integrations supports real-time, self-scheduling, and reminders for many industry-leading Electronic Health Records (EHR), including Centricity™, Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), and Practice Management (PM) systems.
Interoperability within a digital front door ensures that all necessary parties, including healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers, can access electronic health information in a way that does not compromise sensitive patient data. The data should be shareable between different operating systems and also allow for bidirectional interface capabilities. A best-in-breed digital front door app should be compliant with governing HIPAA laws and standards around interoperability, including Health Level 7 (HL7), Continuity of Care Document (CCD), and Fast Health Information Resource (FHIR).
4. Mobile-First Design
The digital front door should feature a mobile-first design so that patients can have an equally easy and intuitive experience on their hand-held devices. The use of cell phones for everyday online interactions has increased; in fact, 75% of all patients believe physicians who offer mobile technology in healthcare provide patients with faster, more convenient experiences, such as cutting down on physician wait times.
For a website to be truly optimized, it must utilize a responsive web design. This allows patients to experience the content and fill out forms on mobile devices without losing parts of content, dealing with pop-ups, shifting content, or experiencing slow load times.
In addition to key technological features, patients have indicated that they would like to see healthcare organizations focus on certain components within their patient portals. For patients who are searching for a healthcare provider, the availability of these features is also more likely to influence which provider they choose.
1. Appointment Scheduling
Consumers have indicated that they highly value the capacity to manage their appointment scheduling. 68% of patients are more likely to choose a healthcare provider that offers appointment self-scheduling through an app or website.
A digital front door system allows patients more control with a self-scheduling feature that is part of medical appointment scheduling software. Patients can schedule, modify, or cancel upcoming visits, as well as see which providers and/or locations are available, all from a device of their choice at any time.
2. Bill Pay
A digital front door platform can make paying bills an easy and transparent process. Many patients have expressed feeling confused by medical bills; 76% of patients want their healthcare providers to clearly explain what they owe and offer them a painless way to pay their bills.
Within a digital front door, online bill pay allows patients to view and pay their bills at any time securely. They can review itemized costs as well as outstanding balances, receive reminders about when bills are due and set up payment options that best work for them.
A forward-reaching digital front door should give patients the option of a telehealth visit. Of patients who previously had telehealth appointments, 75% were likely to choose a telehealth visit over an in-person visit.
4. Virtual Waiting Room
The best healthcare digital front door should include a tailor-made virtual waiting room. Within the virtual waiting room, patients can perform all the actions they would in a traditional waiting room such as checking in for their appointments (virtual or in-person) and filling out the required paperwork. A virtual waiting room allows healthcare practices to effectively manage appointments and ensure that everything is ready beforehand.
As healthcare organizations move forward, it is important to not only acknowledge current patient needs and desires but also embrace future trends that benefit patients and providers alike. A best-in-breed digital front door ensures that healthcare organizations are providing patients with cutting-edge technology and integrated platforms to maximize engagement and improve patient results.