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Millennials—the generation of people between the ages of 23 and 38—are the largest generation in U.S. history, surpassing baby boomers by millions. They make up more than one-quarter of the total U.S. population and their decisions will affect every industry, including healthcare.
As a generation that differs from prior generations in critical ways, Millennials are driving major shifts across the healthcare industry. For instance, as the most digital-driven generation they expect innovations to connect with providers in a more convenient, efficient and affordable way.
Healthcare providers who want to plan for the future ahead must consider millennial behaviors and their approach to healthcare. Here are five things you need to know about the millennial patient:
1. They are the generation of convenience.
Millennials want quick, convenient care, which has driven a shift in where they’re seeking care. Instead of choosing traditional care facilities, millennials are turning to alternative care options, such as telemedicine, urgent care centers and retail clinics due to convenience, shorter wait times and better price transparency. According to Accenture, only 57 percent of millennials have a primary care physician (PCP), compared to 82 percent of baby boomers.
2. They are tech-savvy and expect the same from their physician offices.
Millennials engage with the world through technology. As the most digital-driven generation, Millennials expect the same experience when it comes to their healthcare. Practices will need to offer things like online scheduling, patient portals and wifi to appeal to the millennial patient.
3. They will use telemedicine for their healthcare needs.
While previous generations are more skeptical of telemedicine, 60 percent of millennials surveyed by Salesforce said they were interested in using tele health options to see a doctor. Millennials are comfortable with using technology and prefer the convenience telemedicine provides. Telemedicine also has benefits for your medical practice though, including the ability to see more patients and lower overhead costs.
4. They do their research and care about reviews.
Millennials are more likely to do their research about providers and will choose a provider based on what others say about their experience. Investing in a website and building positive online reviews will be important for practices looking to attract millennial patients. According to recent surveys, 76 percent of millennials say they care about online reviews and 54 percent look online before choosing a doctor.
5. They expect price transparency in healthcare.
A recent survey from PNC healthcare shows Millennials are cost-conscious when it comes to their care. They want to know what’s covered by insurance and how much their visit is going to cost them upfront. The majority of millennials will also delay or forgo treatments and care due to cost.
Key Takeaways for Medical Practices
Millennial behaviors are different than previous generations and are driving changes that will affect the entire healthcare landscape. Millennials don’t like to wait and they care about the overall care experience. Practices who want to attract this generation will need to keep this in mind, as millennials are driving a more consumer-driven healthcare that’s also changed the physician-patient relationship. Physicians are still the most trusted healthcare resource for millennials, but your interaction and overall experience with them will determine whether or not they choose your practice over another.
Implementing the right technology in your practice will matter more than ever before. Consider investing in EHR technology that can support the delivery of a modern healthcare experience that will appeal to your millennial patients. Does your practice have an integrated, mobile-friendly online health portal where patients can easily access their health record, pay their bill and order medications? Do you offer online scheduling and text appointment reminders? These are things that practices can easily implement that will appeal to the millennial crowd. Is it time to reevaluate your EHR technology? Talk to one of our clinical specialists today.
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