The Digital Front Door
Providers want to attract and retain patients. Consumers want convenience, selection, customer service, and a payment process they can trust. Thanks to digital solutions, the needs of both parties are rapidly converging.
That’s why it’s critical for hospitals and health systems to develop end-to-end digital front door strategies. A robust digital presence allows hospitals to compete for patients not only with other institutions, but also with a growing number of non-traditional providers. Many of these entities already have a well-established web presence and deep knowledge about crafting a superior consumer experience.
Creating a viable digital front door strategy should begin with a clear sense of the kind of customer experience you wish to produce, along with the business outcomes you expect to achieve. Much can be learned by examining the digital capabilities of industries like hospitality and travel, and then mapping them to analogous tasks or steps in healthcare.
In the simplest terms, customers want to research their care or provider options and then “book” or schedule services at prices that are transparent and easily understood. To convert casual browsers into paying customers, providers must deliver functionality and convenience at each stage of the patient journey, from discovery and selection through pricing, registration, payment, and digital check-in.
Deploying tools that can accomplish these tasks marks a significant shift for many providers. Traditionally, most hospitals have viewed websites primarily as static repositories of patient-directed information. Those that have created interactive capabilities have tended to focus exclusively on providing tools for existing, authenticated patients. But addressing the needs of unauthenticated consumers must be equally important if the goal is to increase patient volume.
Once the necessary front door components have been identified, hospitals should review their existing patient-facing applications to determine which, if any, can be effectively incorporated in the delivery of a seamless, end-to-end experience. Task-specific point solutions may work well in isolation, but they can prove cumbersome when paired with other applications. In addition, some of these solutions are designed primarily to improve workflow efficiencies for clinicians and staff—not for patient convenience.
Change Healthcare’s patient-facing front-end solutions are the end result of countless hours of patient and provider interviews, as well as extensive testing in homes and clinics. These solutions have been continually refined based on stakeholder feedback. As such, they provide a best-in-class experience for the critical discovery (learning about which providers might treat your symptoms), consideration (narrowing that group to a few you are willing to consider), booking, and payment steps required to access care.
As powerful as these solutions are, their back-end functionality can be married with virtually any frontend application, thanks to Change Healthcare’s API-first design approach. In other words, if your organization has existing applications you wish to preserve, they can still be rolled up into a comprehensive digital front door solution powered by Change Healthcare.
Importantly, we also enable providers to try out our API-first front door solutions before making any commitment to purchase. We’ll provision a sandbox and set up a range of API endpoints so you can begin queries to understand how the solutions will actually perform. This capability helps eliminate questions or gray areas, and can set the stage for a smooth and rapid implementation if your team decides to make a purchase.
It’s likewise worth noting that we have applied our longstanding expertise in the development of revenue cycle applications to our digital front door solutions. Practical knowledge about revenue cycle tasks, workflows, and operational imperatives helps ensure your digital front door will support and help accelerate your revenue cycle optimization.
At first glance, creating a robust digital healthcare experience may seem like a heavy lift. But it’s simpler than you think. And it can be approached as an iterative process that enables you to gradually expand your digital presence.