The digital front door (DFD) describes a user’s primary virtual access point to the healthcare ecosystem. And as more and more interactions become digital—from telehealth appointments to mobile plan management—the race is on to be the trusted entry point for member care, questions, and services.
Whether payers are the door or behind it, they’ll soon be expected by members and providers to integrate all the necessary services and tools to unify the delivery and business of care. The good news is that payers were early adopters in leveraging digital technology to simplify the healthcare experience, reduce operating costs, and meet consumer expectations.
Now, using existing digital engagement solutions, payers can reposition their role in the healthcare journey to be a trusted and collaborative resource, starting with these four steps.
1. Get to know the concept
First, check out this blog, which defines what the DFD means for payers, and register for this webinar about fighting fragmented experiences and care. Understanding terminology and reasoning is essential for implementing this strategy. Understand why fragmented experiences are so frustrating to users and detrimental to outcomes.
2. Understand the need
For members, consider what channels they use to access their payer services (and when they’re most likely to as well). Consider what the user experience will be like and what resources, tools, and integrations could be available.
The DFD should be open 24/7, offering a unified, omnichannel experience across voice, chat, text, apps, and portals with a single sign-on. Members should be able to simply and securely access an evolving suite of tools, information, and integrations that coordinate across their care journey to help them to make informed decisions.
For providers, consider how the DFD can help them give better care by providing personalized member data, streamlining administrative tasks, and improving care collaboration.
As with members, the provider DFD should be available anytime, anywhere, with secure access across email, chat, phone, and portals. Once inside the DFD, providers expect tools to effectively and efficiently communicate with the payer while managing member care and administrative tasks.
There are several questions you’ll need to ask along the way. How will this integrate with your existing engagement platform, what additional tools will need to be bought or built to ensure everything is accessible, and how easily can any new tools be implemented? Will the DFD be scalable and adaptable as new channels and tools become expected by members and providers?
Providing a unified access point to all these tools and services won’t always be easy. Still, it will lead to improved member and provider experiences, more utilization, and (perhaps most importantly) reduced operating costs.
3. Develop the platform
After considering what the DFD needs to provide for all users, it’s time to build it with user-centric design, single sign-on authentication, omnichannel unification, and access on-demand.
Ultimately the DFD is a trusted entryway, and if members and providers don’t find what they need when they go through that entryway, they won’t look to you as a trusted resource in the future. So payers also need to audit their existing engagement strategy. Do you offer a purpose-built, comprehensive engagement platform? Is it easy to use and navigate? Does it offer the tools, resources, and integrations that members and providers need? Is it scalable and adaptable as new functionality becomes both expected and required, such as interoperability?
And should payers build or buy? These solutions and integrations are complex and ever-changing, so both the DFD and the engagement platform behind it must be scalable and adaptable for what payers are working to achieve today and what they will need to be prepared for in the future.
4. Evaluate your platform constantly
Being the DFD for members and providers isn’t just a one-time interaction. It is a constant expectation. It’s being their trusted resource every time they have a question, concern, or need. It’s assuring them that they can access the engagement platform when, where, and how they want to do the things they expect–from authorization submissions to requesting an ID card–and some things they might be surprised by–from virtual visits to cost transparency.
Evaluate member and provider engagement behaviors, both in terms of how they access the platform, and what they do once they’ve opened the door. The more payers understand how, when, and where users are engaging with them, the more they can ensure that the door never closes.
In the increasingly digital healthcare ecosystem, payers who adopt the digital front door early will have a competitive advantage. A unified digital engagement platform attracts and retains users, provides necessary integrations, and delivers payers results.
How to Get Started: