Getting the Most From Your Digital Front Door

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As healthcare consumerism continues to rise, there is a growing focus on using digital technology to improve the patient experience. Patients increasingly expect the same level of convenience in healthcare as they do in other industries, compelling healthcare providers to offer digital access to meet this demand.

The “digital front door” for health systems refers to the primary point of entry for patients to access digital healthcare services. This could be through a website, mobile app, or other digital platform that allows patients to book appointments, access their medical records, communicate with their healthcare providers, and perform other tasks related to their healthcare. The goal of the digital front door is to provide patients with convenient, easy access to healthcare services and information, and to allow healthcare providers to better manage and coordinate care for their patients.

Spending on the digital front door is growing at a feverish pace, with $1.9 billion invested in 2021 and an estimated $2.5. billion in 2022. Yet the return on that investment is still uncertain. In particular, since the digital front door only helps patients who have already chosen that health system, this significant investment may not help actually attract new patients. “We’re acknowledging the need to engage with consumers earlier in the care journey if we’re going to improve health and wellness. In order to accomplish this, health care needs to do a better job of meeting patients where they are – whether that’s in the digital world or by making it easier to schedule and access in-person care,” said Rob Bart, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer at UPMC.

A comprehensive digital front door approach should aim to be easily discoverable by both current and potential consumers, engage with them effectively online, convert them into patients, and provide a smooth and seamless experience.

It is crucial for hospitals and health systems to have a strong online presence beyond their digital front door, given that more than three-quarters of online health seekers begin further up-stream at a search engine. When searching for a new provider specifically, 60% of patients conduct a general internet search, with 33% consulting search engines like Google as the very first step in their journey. The vast majority of patients visit multiple online resources to help them make these important decisions, emphasizing the importance of engaging with these valuable potential patients across a variety of digital touchpoints.

Notably, after insurance, patients most value clinical expertise about their health condition when choosing their provider. For patients with serious, complex, and rare diseases, clinical expertise actually trumps all other criteria when choosing a doctor, even insurance coverage.

It is the importance of clinical expertise that explains why MediFind has quickly become the #1 destination for high-value patients seeking a doctor.  Founded two weeks before the COVID-19 shutdown, the number of patients using MediFind to find their doctors has grown by an average of 30% each month since launch. In addition to helping find a specialist (the traditional way patient review platforms assist patients searching for doctors), MediFind enables patients to find their doctor based on their real-world experience in over 3,500+ conditions and procedures. For patients facing the most complex, high-RVU problems, being able to search for doctors based on the patient’s specific health challenge is exactly what patients say they are looking for.

Partnering with MediFind adds a powerful patient acquisition engine to your existing provider management platform, expanding the reach of your digital front door to where patients are making important care decisions. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can help.


“Top Health IT Components of Medicine’s Digital Front Door” – Patient Engagement HIT

“Hospitals, payers and startups clamoring to be ‘digital front door,’ and it’s overwhelming patients” – Fierce Healthcare

“Consumer Health: Areas of Opportunity” A16Z

“Digital front doors: a deep dive into this growing health care trend” – AHCJ

“Top of Mind research finds that improving patient access is a top priority for health systems” – Center for Connected Medicine

“Dr Google will see you now: Search giant wants to cash in on your medical queries” – The Telegraph

“2022 Patient Access Journey Report” – Kyruus

“Majority of Adults Look Online for Health Information” – Pew Research

“The Long and Winding Road to Care: Today’s Journey to Diagnosis and Treatment for Patients Living with Complex Conditions, includuing Rare Diseases” – Rare Patient Voice + MediFind

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