Millennials look at healthcare much differently than past generations. Being digitally native, millennials expect technology to be involved in almost every aspect of their life, and this is no different for healthcare. Similarly, with increased healthcare costs and busier schedules, they also want to get the most out of any of their healthcare experiences. Based on some of these expectations, here are a few ways healthcare providers can better position themselves to attract these millennial patients.
Millennials want access to their healthcare providers to be quick and easy and can translate to a few different areas of their healthcare journey. With busier lives and less free time in their day, millennials tend to prefer retail clinics over waiting to see their primary care physicians. These clinics often offer same-day or walk-in appointments that fit into their busy schedules. Similarly, when visiting healthcare facilities, they want to get in and out. This means they have less patience for waiting room wait times and cumbersome paper forms to fill out ahead of appointments. The faster the turnaround, the higher the satisfaction when it comes to millennial's healthcare expectations. A few ways healthcare organizations can meet these expectations include; scheduling by email, same-day appointments, digital forms, email portals, and text notifications. For example, Epic’s MyChart gives healthcare organizations the ability to provide web and mobile access to lab results, appointment information, immunization history, medication information, and more to their patients.
When it comes to health issues and questions, most millennials are information gatherers and will reach for their mobile devices to do research before speaking to a doctor. They expect medical information to be readily available and easy to consume on the fly. Having an online presence with easily digestible information and resources on their website can help providers attract these information gathering patients. Staying progressive and digitally present is essential.
Millennials are also driven by peer reviews and word of mouth recommendations more than ever. When seeking care, millennials are far more likely than baby boomers to both look at and strongly consider online reviews. Because of this surge of peer review culture, healthcare providers should actively encourage patients to provide online reviews and feedback to improve their digital standing for potential patients. Healthcare organizations should also put significant effort into their overall digital presence to stay relevant. If a doctor has no online or social presence, millennials are far less likely to consider them.
To help you understand more about why social media is so important in healthcare check out this blog post.
One of the reasons that millennials are more likely than ever to avoid doctors is the ever-rising out of pocket costs. Therefore, cost-effective care is a top priority for this generation. Many millennials want to see what the costs are going to be upfront before undergoing any treatment. Also, with more millennials choosing high deductible insurance plans with lower premiums, they are more likely to consider cash payment options from providers if it is more cost-effective. So how can healthcare organizations combat this? Besides lowering costs, which isn’t always an option, providers can help to show their value by providing clear cost breakdowns as well as cash pay options.
Millennials are the driving force behind most technology trends. Therefore, to win over millennials, healthcare organizations need to ensure they understand their technology preferences and digital behaviors and act accordingly. Mobile phone technology is one of the biggest tech trends that millennials are demanding. Healthcare applications to manage their healthcare, including accessing healthcare records (Apple Health), communicating with providers, and booking appointments are in high demand. Another technology trend that millennials are increasingly adopting is telehealth appointments. By using their phone or computer, providers can utilize video conferencing technology to provide medical appointments for basic needs. Healthcare providers can appeal to millennials' love for technology by offering online and mobile options and always looking ahead at new tech solutions.
Within all of these expectations from millennials, technology remains the center of almost all of them. One way to ensure your IT strategy is up-to-date and working to your advantage is to go through an IT assessment. Optimum offers an IT effectiveness assessment that leverages our deep healthcare experience working in and with organizations to help them become more efficient and effective. Quite simply, our goal is to enable your users to use technology to work smarter and not harder. The IT Effectiveness Assessment is a four-week engagement that will identify the areas of opportunity to improve outcomes.
Millennials are rapidly changing the way healthcare providers look at providing care and keeping up is essential in keeping your organization relevant. Providers need to continue adopting new technologies and understanding how consumers, specifically millennials, are utilizing that technology. Even though millennials use healthcare less than baby boomers, as they age, their use will increase and they will continue to demand healthcare to keep up with their needs and expectations.