September 23, 2020
There’s been a lot of talk lately about a “digital front door” and how it can help providers engage more easily with patients. Limiting person-to-person (“live”) interactions makes a lot of sense as part of heightened infectious virus containment efforts. But there are multiple reasons to use digital engagement strategies: chiefly, making it fast and convenient for patients to research the cost of procedures, make appointments, provide pre-service information forms, receive appointment reminders and, of course, receive and pay their service statements.
Because there are so many reasons and ways to engage with patients digitally, we believe a single “digital front door” is too limiting. That’s why we prefer the more comprehensive and descriptive “Digital Doorways” concept. There are multiple digital doorways and each should be unique and tailored to the patient “stepping through it.” A true digital doorways strategy also takes into account when in their patient journey a doorway is opened.
Bringing patients in through a digital front door is ideal, of course, and works best when every touchpoint is coordinated from a process and data standpoint: from marketing to clinical care to financial engagement. While this isn’t always the case for many health systems, striving to offer a comprehensive digital experience for patients is the ideal.
By creating one central profile of the patient – their needs, preference, behavior AND digital preferences – you can begin to unify the patient experience and provide consistent outreach – regardless of which digital doorway they use to enter your health system. This type of personalized engagement is possible thanks to the careful use of analytics to determine the right communications strategy at the right time. Specifically, predictive models can be set up to anticipate which patient attributes are associated with likelihood to engage. Response models can determine who will respond to particular messages—and their preferred channel for receiving them.
If this sounds time-consuming and too good to be true, we can assure you that it’s really fast and cost-effective thanks to automation. Linking automation with analytics ensures consistency and convenience for patients, as well as lower costs and improved revenue management for providers.
Think of it as a “digital ecosystem” with various entry points that frees busy IT staff from time- consuming data integration work. And because it’s automated, the system can act on data and respond in real time. Come back soon for a more in-depth look at the benefits of digital doorways for you and your patients!