The Must-Have Digital Front Door Strategy For Your Healthcare Practice

In today’s digital age, patients expect convenient access to healthcare services through online and mobile channels. Implementing a comprehensive “digital front door” strategy is essential for healthcare organizations to meet these evolving patient needs and drive better outcomes. Patients are becoming choosier and choosier when it comes to their providers, and if you want to retain clients, you need to ensure you’re offering them an excellent, modern experience. In today’s blog, we walk you through the basics of implementing a digital front door strategy so you can wow your patients from first interaction through checkout and follow-ups.

 

What is the Digital Front Door?

The digital front door refers to an omnichannel engagement approach that provides patients with seamless digital access to your healthcare services. It encompasses all the digital touchpoints where patients can interact with your practice, like finding your website, scheduling appointments online, receiving reminders, checking in virtually, accessing telehealth visits, filling out forms, and making payments. A well-designed digital front door strategy streamlines operations while improving patient access, engagement, and overall care experience.

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The Evolution of the Digital Front Door

While the concept of the digital front door has been informally circulating among healthcare organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated widespread adoption out of necessity. With social distancing norms and restricted in-person visits, healthcare practices rapidly digitized processes like virtual check-ins, remote monitoring, and telehealth consultations to continue providing care.

As patients grew accustomed to this convenience, their expectations around digital access evolved. A recent survey found that 76% of patients prioritize access to digital healthcare services when choosing a provider. Even though patients will still need to engage with providers in person, supporting virtual services are no longer just preferred — they’re necessary.

Why the Digital Front Door is Critical

As the healthcare landscape grows more consumer-driven, implementing a robust digital front door strategy is critical for practices to remain competitive and build a loyal patient base. Beyond just convenience, an effective digital front door strategy provides significant benefits for both patients and practices:

Improved Patient Access

Digital access expands your practice’s reach and availability by reducing barriers like transportation, mobility issues, and scheduling conflicts.

Better Patient Engagement

Digital channels enable more frequent touchpoints, reminders, and communication, keeping patients invested in their care.

Streamlined Operations
Automating tasks like appointment booking, reminders, check-in, and documentation reduces administrative overhead.
Enhanced Patient Experience
A seamless, user-friendly digital experience improves satisfaction and promotes loyalty to your practice.

Key Touchpoints for Your Digital Front Door Strategy

To build an effective digital front door, your practice needs to enable key digital touchpoints throughout the patient journey. These six components of a digital front door strategy provide a strong foundation for a patient-centric, tech-friendly practice.

 

1. Online Patient Self-Scheduling:

Allow patients to book appointments directly through your website or patient portal, synced with your practice’s scheduling system. This convenience improves access while reducing staff overhead.

 

2. Appointment Reminders:

Based on patient preferences, send automated reminders via text, email, or phone call. Text reminders have high open rates and reduce no-shows. You can even include a link in these reminders for rescheduling if a patient cannot make their visit.

 

3. Digital Patient Check-In:

Offer options for patients to check in virtually before their visit through a mobile app, online portal, or on-site kiosk/tablet. This minimizes wait times and streamlines front-desk processes.

 

4. Telehealth:

Provide secure video consultation capabilities so patients can receive care remotely when needed, improving access for those with mobility issues or transportation barriers. In some cases, virtual chat can be helpful for common medical concerns or symptom checking.

 

5. Digital Document Management:

Before their visit, patients can complete intake forms, provide consent, and share their medical history digitally. Comprehensive document management supports accurate data entry when integrated with your EHR, billing platform, and practice management software.

 

6. Online Payments:

Offer a seamless online payment experience for copays, bills, and other charges through a patient portal. This improves collection rates and convenience.

 

By implementing these digital touchpoints to start, you create a cohesive digital front door experience that meets rising patient demands for modern, consumer-friendly healthcare engagement.

Partner with Benchmark Solutions

At Benchmark Solutions, we provide innovative software and services to help independent practices succeed in the digital era. Our PM and EHR systems integrate seamlessly, offering you best-in-class digital front door capabilities like online scheduling, custom-configured reminders, document management, billing automation, and more.

Our team of experts can guide you through building and optimizing a digital front door strategy tailored to your practice’s needs. By embracing these digital transformation opportunities, you can provide the modern, convenient experience patients expect while streamlining operations. With experience supporting dozens of specialties, the Benchmark Solutions team can help you bolster patient engagement without adding to your workload.

Take the first step and contact us today to learn how we can help implement state-of-the-art health systems to create a truly powerful digital front door strategy. 

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