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Healthcare needs transformation in order to remain sustainable, and this starts with smart technology solutions like the digital front door.

For decades, global healthcare spending has focused on impressive-looking bricks-and-mortar of hospitals and hospital-centric technology systems. Traditional health systems have focused on the diagnosis and treatment of illness rather than helping to prevent the onset of disease or building more resilient health systems.

To remain sustainable, healthcare needs significant transformation. COVID-19 has awakened the need for change that was already clearly needed pre-pandemic. To address the fundamental issues in today’s health system, we need to find a way to achieve the quintuple aim: improved patient experience, provider experience, health outcomes, reduced cost of healthcare, and enhanced equity. Pressure on the current inefficient systems and processes negatively impacts our ability to achieve these aims.

How can technology help?

Easing the total workload on overburdened clinicians and ensuring the correct data is available for better clinical and system-level decision-making will have a marked effect on overall health system performance. Achieving these goals requires investment in smart, innovative technology solutions that continue to add value to the system and set health systems up for a more sustainable future.

Another critical goal is enabling providers and patients to interact more effectively. Is there a way we can appropriately triage patients from home so that only the patients who really need to be in the ED or GPs office are there? Can we send patients from the hospital earlier knowing they’ve got the tools they need to manage at home?

The digital front door in healthcare aims to answer to these questions and more. A digital front door is a technology platform that will evolve and empower people to actively manage more of their healthcare journey at a time and place convenient to them. 

The healthcare digital front door can support system redesign for population health management and value-based care. The healthcare Digital Front Door leverages existing patient engagement technologies, integrating them into a unified, user-friendly hub for people to access 24/7 and provide end-to-end access to the health system. An effective population engagement strategy will ensure health systems are set up for a more sustainable future, equip them to meet the Quintuple Aim and help address current pressures facing the system today.

Providing the best possible care with a healthcare digital front door

Extending traditional medicine by taking a digital-first strategy encompassing digital front door technology to enable people to self-manage their health and wellbeing will help to ease the total load on overburdened clinicians. This approach, coupled with ensuring the right data is available for better decision-making at the clinician and system level, will have a marked effect on overall system performance.

The Digital Front Door can help create sustainable health systems for the future. Ideally, the Digital Front Door should include a range of specific technologies that automate key processes, improve patient-clinician relationships, and ensure patients are being treated in the right place and at the right time. Specific technologies will enable clinicians to focus their time where it matters most and ensure patients receive the best care.

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Chris Hobson

Chief Medical Officer, Orion Health

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