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The digital front door is the front lines of the digital health battle. Whoever controls it will steer the patient and garner the benefits. How are we doing?


Today in health, it JP Morgan. Wrap-up that's right today. We're going to wrap up with a little discussion around the digital front door. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week and health it instead of channels, dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged.

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All right. For the last week or so we've been talking about the JP Morgan conference. And today. The keynote interview with Rob D Mashiach. Drops. He's the former CFO for UTMC and we explore so many different aspects of the conference. And I'm want you to hop over to that channel and check that out.

It's a great conversation. We literally could have talked for two or three hours. It was, it really is exceptional. Here's what I'm going to do today. And I don't do this often, but I'm going to take a clip from our conversation. And in this clip, we talk about the digital front door. Actually, he talks about the digital front door.

And, , he makes some great points on this. So I'm just going to kick it over to him and then I'm going to come back at the end and talk about my, so what.

The whole discussion around the digital front door and owning the consumer was, we've talked about this a few times already, but I saw this basically, everybody talked about it.

Baylor Scott and White, My BSW Health, Jefferson, my Jefferson Health, Advocate Aurora has a LivWell app. So everybody was talking about their digital front door and owning that. And I think that is the critical battlefield of the future. Because if again, I go back to the insurers.

I go back to the retail as well. Right. Anyone who's had a COVID test at CVS, but I think we probably all have you need to register with them on their platform. My CVS or whatever it's called. So everybody's creating these front doors. And the benefit to that is from a steerage and a quarterbacking standpoint.

So the winner, the person that owns that digital front door is going to have a real benefit in steering the patient and the consumer to their preferred mode of care of their preferred delivery of care and hopefully their low cost, high quality mode of care. And that's certainly the aspiration of all these startups.

And many of them talk Clover health, Oak street health. Everybody is looking to be the front end and then turn hospitals and health systems into just a point solution. Right. And the hospital's trying to avoid being a point solution, right? They want to be your comprehensive destination for care, and I'm not sure who's going to win that battle.

But again, these digital disruptors and these insurers, if they have 90 NPS scores and 95 NPS scores, it's going to be really hard for, I think, health systems to duplicate that level of functionality. IT functionality. Access with physicians as opposed to retail and digital, and many of the health plans now are creating kind of a virtual first steerage where, and again it's not that you have to reduce your network or you don't have access to a high reputation provider of acute care.

You do, but they're saying, look, your first stop is our virtual. Interaction or virtual consultation before you just run to a specialist. So this battle for the digital front door and primary care that I think is the greatest risk to the health systems. The health systems want to maintain primary care as a way to feed specialists and keep hospitals full.

And they want to expand to have other offerings across the continuum. And what the insurers and the retailers are doing instead, Bill is they're saying, look, we're going to control primary care. We're investing in primary care and we're partnering in primary care and we're creating this high touch, high NPS, consumer digital experience.

And so now I own the patient, I own the consumer, I own the patient and I'm going to steer them to all these offerings, whether it's pharmacy, whether it's virtual, whether it's rehab, it's labs. And ultimately if you need to go to an ICU or an inpatient stay or a surgery, I may divert you to an outpatient surgery center in your community, which has high quality, high outcomes.

But ultimately if you need it, I'm going to have inpatient, acute care as a point of service solution. So the war to me, the worst primary care in digital, and I think it's going to be tough for providers to win in that space.

Again, great conversation check that out over on the conference channel this week health conference. On our keynote. Show a couple of items just from that, as we're thinking about the digital front door, the digital front door is about engaging.

The consumer of healthcare. First of all, you have to embrace that terminology, the consumer of healthcare. Yes. They may not be a full blown consumer. Like you think of a consumer going into a grocery store, but they are a consumer of healthcare and eventually they're going to have choices and you're going to want to get ahead of this.

And so as you're getting ahead of it, how do you engage the consumer? First of all, you have to create a compelling experience. Think about the experiences that they want. One of the mistakes I made early on as a CIO. Is we redid our digital front door. And we were building all the things that we thought we should do, and it was

The normal things, the medical record and presenting it and all those things. And at the end of the day, we finally stepped back and looked at the process and said, are we doing the right things? And we did a consumer survey of what they wanted to see in the portal.

Now, consumers, aren't always right about this stuff. You have to read into it and understand who you're asking the questions of, but they came back and the things that we had prioritized one through 10 were almost the exact opposite of what they. They have prioritized one to 10. I mean, the only one that was really the same with scheduling and scheduling was hard operationally. And that's the other thing I'm gonna come back to on this? The digital front door is a window into the backend operation. There's so much work that you have to do to make sure that your backend operation is efficient so that your digital front door.

Easily integrates into that. You can't take a mess behind from an operation standpoint, put a digital front door on it and have it work. It has to be thought through. There has to be intelligent design. Of your processes from one end to the other. This is the thing that we get killed on in healthcare. When people go in and they go, I don't understand. I go from one place to the other and things are broken and information. Doesn't follow me.

We need that intelligent design from one end to the other. This takes more than just a technology leader. It takes a leader that's willing to Wade into the overall experience and architect that experience and bring people together around a table and orchestrate that experience. So the digital front door so important, and yes, it is a lot easier from a Greenfield perspective.

Than it is to retrofit something. But we have some time we have to get started. And we have to start making progress on this digital front door. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher.

You get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site nuance, Canon medical, and 📍 current health. Check them out at this week. Thanks for listening that's

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