Unlocking the Digital Front Door in Health: The Key is Putting Patients First

Unlocking healthcare's evolving concept of the Digital Front Door and its core capabilities transforming the patient experience in health.

From Telehealth to Patient Portals, to Remote Patient Monitoring, to Virtual Care, to Patient-Centred Care—the healthcare industry has witnessed an array of evolving concepts and technologies. Amidst this dynamic landscape, a new term has emerged: the Digital Front Door. But at its core, the Digital Front Door is not solely about technology—but about the patient and person experience in healthcare. 

What is the digital front door in healthcare?

The Digital Front Door encompasses a diverse range of digital tools, services, and platforms that healthcare organisations employ to enhance the overall healthcare journey. It acts as a gateway, allowing patients and individuals to seamlessly access healthcare services and resources. While it embraces digital innovations, the Digital Front Door goes beyond the mere presence of technology. Its essence lies in transforming the way people interact with and experience healthcare. 

While the concept of the Digital Front Door may seem daunting, the use cases are surprisingly familiar. Imagine a patient seeking care. They start their journey by scheduling an appointment through an intuitive online platform, eliminating the need for phone calls and long hold times. Next, they access their medical records and test results seamlessly through a patient portal, empowering them to actively participate in their own healthcare decisions. During their appointment, if a virtual visit is suitable, they can connect with their healthcare provider through a secure telehealth platform, saving both time and travel. Even after the visit, the patient continues to receive personalised care through remote patient monitoring, with real-time data being transmitted to their healthcare team for continuous assessment. 

The Digital Front Door accommodates various healthcare settings, recognising the diverse needs and preferences of both patients and providers; and extends beyond patients to loved ones and visitors more broadly. 

In a primary care clinic, it may be to facilitate easy appointment scheduling, reduce administrative burdens, and ensures efficient communication between patients and their care teams. In a hospital setting, it could be a virtual assistant to direct a person to the right area for the help they are seeking, streamlining the registration process, provide access to medical records, and even offering virtual pre- and post-operative consultations. For specialists, it enables secure referrals, seamless collaboration with other healthcare professionals, and enhanced patient engagement through educational resources. 

Within your own organisation, you might already be addressing one or more of these aspects. However, the essence of the Digital Front Door lies in unifying the various ways patients and individuals interact with healthcare services into a single, cohesive entry point. Instead of disparate methods of accessing information, the Digital Front Door aims to provide a consistent and streamlined experience for all. 

The Digital Front Door starts with a vision

So, how can healthcare organisations harness the power of the Digital Front Door? It starts with a vision for patient-centric care and a commitment to embracing digital innovations. Healthcare organisations should assess their current capabilities, identify gaps, and prioritise areas that can benefit from digital solutions. Whether it’s implementing user-friendly patient portals, integrating telehealth platforms, or adopting remote patient monitoring systems, each step taken brings them closer to the Digital Front Door. 

Achieving the full potential of the Digital Front Door relies on the power of collaboration and partnerships. Prioritising interoperability is crucial to ensure a smooth and cohesive interaction for patients and individuals seeking healthcare services. When embarking on the journey of implementing a digital front door, it is vital to choose a trusted digital partner who can support your organisation’s needs. 

A trusted digital partner recognises the significance of delivering a consistent patient experience that is seamlessly connected and integrated into the underlying systems, ultimately making it invisible to the patient. They understand the importance of taking a phased approach to implementation, ensuring scalability both breadth and depth. This approach avoids sudden and overwhelming changes that can burden staff and create confusion among patients. By prioritising a seamless and integrated patient experience, they provide a platform that supports long-term growth, allowing you to incorporate new solutions without disrupting existing systems or introducing additional vendors. By working with a reliable partner, you can navigate the transformation process with confidence, knowing that each step is carefully planned and executed to maximise effectiveness and minimise disruption. 

Collaborating with a trusted digital partner enables you to unlock the full potential of the Digital Front Door, creating a seamless and tailored experience for patients and individuals. Together, you can build a foundation that supports the evolving needs of your organisation and the people you serve. 

Core Digital Front Door Capabilities

Whether you’re just starting or well along your patient experience transformation journey, Five Faces is here to help you establish a robust Digital Front Door. Our expertise and solutions cater to organisations of all sizes. By partnering with Five Faces, you gain access to our expertise and tailored solutions that support a wide range of consumer interactions, including patients, their loved ones, and visitors. Our offerings encompass: 

  • Secure messaging and communication channels to facilitate confidential and efficient correspondence between patients and healthcare providers. 
  • Health information and resources, empowering patients with reliable and accessible materials to support their healthcare journey. 
  • Efficient appointment scheduling and management solutions, eliminating long wait times and improving overall appointment experiences. 
  • Integrated telehealth and virtual visit capabilities, allowing patients to connect with healthcare providers remotely, saving time and increasing accessibility. 
  • User-friendly patient and loved ones portals, providing secure access to their personalised health information. 
  • Chatbots and virtual assistants, enhancing patient engagement and providing instant support for common inquiries and tasks. 
  • Integration with organisation’s existing digital ecosystem, including patient-specific applications, to create a cohesive and personalised healthcare experience. 

We must emphasise that the essence of the Digital Front Door lies in prioritising the patient and person experience. While technology serves as an enabler, the ultimate goal is to improve the way individuals access, engage with, and receive healthcare services. By placing the patient and person at the forefront, healthcare organisations can create a culture of patient-centric care.

In conclusion, the Digital Front Door represents a transformative approach to healthcare, centred around enhancing the patient and person experience. It empowers individuals to seamlessly access healthcare services and resources through a unified and user-friendly digital platform. By embracing digital innovations and prioritising patient-centric care, healthcare organisations can harness the power of the Digital Front Door to revolutionise the way patients, loved ones, and visitors interact with their services. Collaboration, partnerships, and interoperability are essential in unlocking the full potential of the Digital Front Door, ensuring a cohesive and personalised healthcare experience for all. As organisations embark on this journey, it is crucial to choose a trusted digital partner who can provide the expertise and tailored solutions needed to navigate the transformation process successfully. Look for a comprehensive platform that offers a long runway of innovation, allowing you to add future solutions without the need for new technology or vendors. Together, we can build a future where healthcare is accessible, efficient, and patient-centred.

Lauren Leach

Lauren Leach

Head of product

Lauren has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the health industry, having worked in digital product roles across pharmacy, primary care, hospitals and radiology.

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