Insights

Improving patient experience and outcomes with a self-service digital front door

By Aila Staff

July 28, 2020

The digital front door is often your patients’ first impression, first point of contact, and first resource for getting the service they need. In a post-COVID world, the digital front door is also a vital part of maintaining safe interactions from the perspective of social distancing and minimal contact—any rote processes that can be handled without one-on-one transactions should be. 

In a time where providers are stretched thin, many patient service centers are accelerating digital transformation efforts including tablet-based kiosks to quickly automate processes like greetings, check-ins, and copayments in addition to other digital initiatives. 

Patient service centers are still central to the patient experience

As online and mobile technologies make it easier for patients to quickly get information about their health, it’s clear that healthcare is rapidly changing. However, one thing has remained constant through the digital revolution and the world’s largest pandemic—visiting doctor’s offices, hospitals, and pharmacies will always be a vital part of healthcare. 

In other words, bringing the digital front door to your patient service center in the form of a self-service kiosk can bring a number of benefits to patients and practices alike. 

The tools used to build an effective digital front door

As noted in HealthTech, a successful digital-front-door strategy is “purpose-built, simple to use and aesthetically pleasing.” This purpose-built strategy can consist of a range of touchpoints and experiences, including: 

  • Website
  • Online patient portal
  • Mobile app
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Staff-facing fixed solutions (like traditional intake)
  • Staff-facing mobile solutions (like curbside check-in)

Regardless of which tools your practices uses for its digital front door, it’s essential that the experiences are consistent with one another and seamlessly integrated into your systems. 

Making patient experiences more consistent across touchpoints

With self-service kiosks and a digital front door, providers can improve the first point of contact with patients across their online systems and their physical patient services centers. This helps provide the most accurate and consistent information to patients to avoid confusion around instructions from the provider. 

Large healthcare networks often face the difficulty of ensuring all of their locations, and the staff members at those locations are updated with the most recent information and processes. 

healthcare-check-in-digital-front-door-kiosk

By rolling out a purpose-built and intuitive digital front door, experiences at all of these locations can be streamlined and consolidated. At a large retail pharmacy or lab, for example, it can be difficult to provide consistent intake experiences across hundreds or even thousands of locations. 

Once the locations are all on the same self-check-in system, however, patients can expect to check in the same way regardless of which location they visit. 

Further, updates to the check-in process can be rolled out simultaneously and with minimal impact on each location. 

Provide an opening for efficiency boosts

Busy patient service centers often struggle to keep up with all of the tasks required of them in order to effectively greet, process, and assist each patient that walks through the door. 

Freeing up front office staff is a core way that the digital front door makes practices more efficient. One study found a 50% reduction in front desk staff time after rolling out a digital intake system. This means staff are able to be reallocated for more important tasks. 

Among the repetitive, time-consuming processes that can be automated at check-in include:

  • Intake (form filling)
  • ID and insurance verification
  • Directions to service area & waiting room instructions
  • Co-payments

Patients have also reported improved experience and satisfaction while checking in through the digital front door. With Aila’s Interactive Kiosk, LabCorp saw “88% positive responses to point of service surveys overall and 94% positive when checking in with the reservation.” 

Read the full LabCorp case study to learn more:

Read the Case Study

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