With the emergence of mobile technology, consumers have become accustomed to engaging with brands conveniently and instantly from their mobile devices. This innovation has transformed the way we communicate, shop, bank, exercise and even travel. Never has it been more crucial for healthcare organizations to embrace digital transformation and build a digital front door.
But what exactly is a digital front door?
A digital front door is the healthcare organization’s reputation and presence across the web. This includes online reviews, social media, websites and much more. The digital front door will likely be the first interaction with a potential patient, which is why it is essential to treat them as consumers.
Prior to booking an appointment, patients typically conduct research and compare reviews. They not only expect their provider to have an online presence, but they also prefer one that incorporates digital tools throughout their healthcare journey. This begins with appointment scheduling and carries all the way through to accessing test results and ordering prescription refills.
In a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, a 70% of the survey respondents preferred digital solutions to standard over-the-phone and in-person solutions for many of their healthcare interactions, including searching for a doctor and paying bills.
- 79% prefer a digital solution to pay bills
- 73% prefer a digital solution to search for a doctor
- 71% prefer a digital solution to order prescriptions and refills
- 69% prefer a digital solution to check their health information
- 58% prefer email, text or phone appointment reminders
- 53% prefer digital tools to access electronic healthcare records
- 50% prefer video or online doctors visits
When discussing digital tools for healthcare organizations, the importance of mobile is undeniable. According to Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own a smartphone and a growing majority now use it as their primary means of online access. Even more importantly, for one-in-five Americans, their smartphone is their only means of online access, which underlies the importance of a mobile-friendly presence whether that be an online portal or mobile application.
As patients take control, convenience is the primary factor driving their consumer-centric decision making according to the 2019 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report from NRC Health. Convenience ranks above quality of care, brand reputation and doctor/nurse conduct. This preference has spurred the growth of retail clinics and digital health, including telehealth and mHealth. Today Patients have more options than ever before.
Here are the benefits of a single digital front door:
- Healthcare organizations can engage with new and existing patients
- Patient experience and satisfaction is improved.
- Patients will have fewer missed appointments.
- Both providers and end users will experience the benefit of existing technology through integration, as well as the elimination of disconnected portals, tools and apps.
- A more streamlined and productive operational process of healthcare systems.
- Increased revenue.
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