What is a Digital Front Door? 3 Essential Strategies for Health Care

January 11, 2023

Explore the value of incorporating Digital Front Door technology into your practice.

The term “digital front door” is a popular buzzword in the health care industry, but what does it mean? According to a recent study of health care providers, 95% of respondents shared that a digital front door refers to finding and arranging care online, including symptom checkers and patient check-ins. These functions are certainly a part of a provider’s digital front door, but the term’s overall definition is much broader.  

A digital front door encompasses a patient’s entire virtual experience with a provider — it refers to the everyday technologies patients use to interact with a health care organization. From patient portals to billing software, these technologies are what providers have in place to facilitate and enhance a patient's experience. With a digital front door, patients can easily schedule and manage appointments or complete pre-visit forms and adjust billing information online. One recent study reports 80% of patients want to easily interact with their health care provider via mobile devices, making an effective digital front door strategy more crucial than ever. 

There are many patient and provider benefits to a well-executed digital front door strategy. For patients, a digital front door makes care more convenient, transparent, and accessible. And for health care organizations, it allows them to deliver seamless patient experiences, improve internal efficiencies, and better engage and retain patients. Let’s further explore the value of incorporating this innovative technology into your practice and the essential strategies for any digital front door solution.  

3 Essential Components of a Digital Front Door Strategy

There are a multitude of solutions available to help your health care organization improve its digital front door strategy. Your digital front door should be more than allowing patients to schedule a visit, it should guide patients through their entire health care experience, from pre-appointment to post-visit. There are three essential strategies to achieving an impactful digital front door:

1. Pre-Visit Engagement 

Digital front door solutions should make scheduling easier than ever, for patients and providers. Patient portals help patients quickly schedule appointments and engage with their providers before appointments. Your patient portal should be desktop and mobile-friendly, and compatible with phones and tablets. Through a digital portal, patients can: 

●      Manage Appointments - Instead of calling an office, patients can reschedule appointments, manage old ones, and even set reminders for upcoming appointments online. 

●      Complete Documentation - Filling in paperwork can be time-consuming and stressful for some patients. With a patient portal, patients can complete pre-visit forms online, saving the patient and hospital staff time during the appointment check-in. 

●      Pay Bills - Patients can digitally view and pay their bills, making the payment process simple. Faster billing also leads to faster collection for health care providers. 

●      Navigate Resources - Hospitals or doctor’s offices may be large, complex, and hard to navigate. Via the patient portal, patients can find digital maps of your facility, making it easier to plan their visit and arrive on time.

2. Engagement During a Visit

Once a patient arrives at your facility, your digital front door solution should help them find their way to their appointment and back. Navigating a hospital can be a stressful experience, but you can help alleviate some of that worry with wayfinding technology. 

Technologies like parking location tracking can pin where a patient parked their car, so they can easily find it after an appointment — this is especially helpful for senior patients. And once inside your facility, some solutions allow you to offer a real-time, indoor GPS, helping patients and visitors navigate your hospital with ease. 

 With located-based technology, you can create and push personalized alerts and promotions to visitors based on their location. For example, you may be able to place a geofence around the hospital, which triggers express check-ins. This technology allows your facility to offer a more personalized experience before, during, and after patient visits. And not only does this technology benefit patients and their overall experience, but it helps cut down on the time staff spends giving directions, allowing them to focus on what is most important: providing outstanding patient care.

3. Post-Visit Engagement 

The patient experience doesn’t have to end when they leave your facility. With a well-rounded digital front door strategy, you can collect important experience feedback via the digital portal, asking patients how their recent visit went. This data can help your facility make decisions to improve patient retention and future visits. Patients can also review notes from their recent visit, accessing information on medications, suggestions, and other follow-up information from their provider. 

 In addition to feedback data, a virtual patient portal can include telemedicine integration. After a visit, this integration allows patients to schedule virtual follow-ups and appointments with their providers. Virtual appointments are a great option for patients who can’t come into the hospital, don’t live near their provider, or want to prevent the spread of illnesses. 

Develop Your Digital Front Door with Cox Prosight 

Today, patients demand a digital, personalized experience in their healthcare, pushing providers to improve their digital front door capabilities to stay at the cutting-edge. Elevate your hospital’s patient engagement and experience with Cox Prosight, an affordable Digital Front Door solution. Our solution enhances the patient experience with location-based services. 

Our cutting-edge technology can cut your costs, boost operational safety, and improve patient engagement. Contact our team today to learn how Cox Prosight can innovate your digital front door for lasting innovation.

George Valentine
AVP & General Manager

George is an entrepreneurial executive and serial entrepreneur successful in launching, growing, and managing technology-based companies. George joined Cox Communication’s Innovation group in 2014 and is responsible for developing, incubating, and executing the company’s Connected Health strategy, including solution and partnership development, investments, acquisitions, and market trials. Prior to Cox, George founded two successful technology companies, performed a venture-backed company turnaround, and led large enterprise projects as a KPMG management consultant. George holds an MBA and B.S. in Finance from the University of South Carolina. George, his wife, and two children live in Atlanta, GA.