Key Components of A Digital Front Door Healthcare Experience Strategy

Mike Pietig

By Mike Pietig, vice president of healthcare experience, Avtex Solutions.

Many healthcare organizations today offer a multichannel engagement approach, presenting online and mobile access to services and even care. Adopting digital channels is a great first step toward meeting your consumers’ expectations, but is just the starting point.

Consumers today expect to be given choice in their healthcare engagement and care channels – via mobile app, on their computer, over the phone, in person – and they want these interactions to feed into a connected, seamless omnichannel experience that is simple, intuitive, and personalized to their needs. Today’s digitally integrated economy requires an approach to healthcare that puts consumers’ needs first and engages them at every relevant touchpoint along their journey.

Many healthcare organizations are turning to a digital front door to facilitate this kind of digitally optimized, omnichannel experience. A digital front door sets the foundation for a stronger, more consistent omnichannel experience that enhances every connection, increases loyalty, reduces friction, and drives competitive advantage.

Our healthcare experience experts have identified the five components needed to build a Digital Front Door strategy that meets consumer expectations and strengthens the omnichannel healthcare experience:

1. Alignment

At Avtex, we often talk about the need to define your “North Star” to ensure that every aspect of the consumer journey aligns with your organizations’ overarching philosophy of the best possible experience. A Digital Front Door ensures there is alignment with this desired healthcare experience, from goals to governance.

Like any successful customer experience strategy, the digital front door must align with and improve upon existing patient and member experience strategies to digitally transform your organization. Activities like journey mapping and CX process mapping can help uncover pain points and clarify how a Digital Front Door plan can support your overall North Star.

2. Understanding
A 360-degree view of your consumers is necessary to build a strong digital experience. Building a complete, holistic understanding of your consumers’ experiences will help you to identify gaps and opportunities to elevate this experience and create a more rounded, consumer-centric environment. For example, you may consider developing a voice of the customer (VOC) program to gain new insights, or you may decide to perform persona mapping exercises to help understand your target segments better so you can better meet their identified needs.

It’s also important to prioritize gathering employee feedback and data, as these insights provide invaluable information on needs, preferences, trends, and pain points – both at the individual and group level. We’ve learned that improving the employee experience will lead to a measurable improvement in the consumer experience.

Better understanding your consumers translates to better healthcare experiences and more opportunities for growth. Recently, AvMed, a Florida-based insurance provider, witnessed these benefits firsthand, after working with Avtex to build a deeper understanding of their current and member segments. As a result of this work, they created a competitive advantage within insurance marketplaces including, as well as unearthed numerous member insights to optimize plan offerings.

3. Design
“Design” is a broad term, but at Avtex, good design is the cornerstone of a well-integrated healthcare experience. A strong design framework involves aligning every interaction, capability, and strategy to the functional and emotional needs of patients and members. It requires careful planning, to ensure that you are mapping and capturing your current consumer experiences – and translating that information into actionable data.

To support the design, you must also equip your team with the right tools and technologies. It’s important to collect feedback from both customers and employees to encourage continuous improvement of the experience.

A good design is critical to the success of your Digital Front Door strategy, ensuring these experiences exceed consumer expectations.

4. Orchestration
Orchestration relies on a foundation of strong customer understanding combined with powerful design to carefully synchronize the best combination of people, processes, and technologies. Orchestration helps all three work in harmony to deliver a well-integrated omnichannel experience. Just as it would in a real symphony performance, orchestration keeps all the elements of the patient/member experience in sync so that every interaction, no matter how small, meets their needs and preferences.

Orchestration ensures that planning and enablement are working together to deliver a strong digital front door for members and patients, which includes making the right technology choices to deliver the best experience. Orchestration helps guarantee more ease, convenience, and accessibility throughout the entire healthcare journey, at every single touchpoint, from the very first interaction.

5. Measurement
The HCAHPS survey, STAR ranking, and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) remain key metrics for measuring the customer experience. However, these are not the only measures for evaluating the success of your healthcare experience strategies. To measure the success of your digital front door and ensure a frictionless, integrated experience, consider including newer tools such as the customer effort score (CES) that assesses support and transactional interactions, or the customer experience index (CXI) that evaluates overall experiences over time.

Establishing experience measurements like these will help to ensure the success of your digital front door and healthcare experience strategy, and provide ongoing opportunities for improvement.

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