As millennials get older and make their own decisions about health care, the industry must adapt to their needs. The most tech-savvy generation is looking for different things in a hospital or health system than previous generations. And to keep up, healthcare facilities have to cater to those desires.
Reminder: Millennials are people born between 1982 and 1996, and they’ve come of age during a time of great upheaval, culturally and technologically.
As a result, they don’t view most service industries in the same ways as their parents or grandparents, especially the healthcare industry.
According to a recent research report from C Space, “Healthcare Without Borders: How Millennials are Reshaping Health and Wellness,” millennials share a:
- detachment from institutions
- propensity to gather, curate and share data
- concern with the origin and life cycle of the products they use
- desire to both engage with and unplug from technology
- emphasis on work/life balance, and
- focus on the present over the future.
These generational values are reflected in what they look for and appreciate in healthcare providers. Healthcare costs continue to rise, so millennials in particular are searching for cost-cutting methods and nontraditional insurance plans.
They’re also less likely to visit a doctor or hospital, instead choosing telehealth options or urgent care clinics when possible.
And millennials view health as more than just physical well-being. It encompasses work/life balance, mental health and holistic treatments designed to treat the whole patient – not just any symptoms.
If your hospital doesn’t already, consider adapting to this broader definition of health by offering meditation, massage or even yoga to certain patients. An emphasis on these alternative treatments can bring in new patients who will see your facility as hip and innovative, rather than old-fashioned and bland.
Pricing transparency, digital readiness
More than half of millennials believe hospitals should be required to post their prices so people can compare and shop accordingly, according to the C Space report.
This emphasis on transparency and accountability in pricing and treatment means hospitals must be willing to be honest about the services they offer and how much they’ll cost. Otherwise, patients will go elsewhere.
Millennials avoid hospitals and the doctor more than previous generations. Instead, they’re willing to search online for do-it-yourself treatments and, when those aren’t an option, the cheapest health care available. Transparency with your pricing can encourage those patients to seek out care they might not otherwise.
Most importantly, millennials want technological advancements in their healthcare facilities. They don’t want to call a receptionist, sit on hold for 20 minutes and then receive a follow-up call about their appointment. They’d prefer the opportunity to schedule appointments online, receive text or email reminders about them and contact providers directly through a patient portal or other online system.
If they’re going to pay expensive healthcare costs, they want access to the newest and best technologies.
Moving your hospital away from traditional methods of care delivery and toward digital alternatives should be a significant priority, as younger generations will only continue along the paths set out by millennials.