In 2019, millennials are expected to surpass baby boomers to become the largest living adult population in the U.S. For healthcare providers who have been intently focused on understanding and meeting the needs of baby boomers for years, it is helpful to step back and really consider what millennial patients want and expect out of healthcare experiences—particularly when it comes to communication from their healthcare team. Healthcare teams that do this may be surprised to discover many similarities between what millennials and baby boomers want from providers.
To help identify patient expectations from each generation, Intrado surveyed 1,036 adults and 317 healthcare providers in the U.S. The survey revealed that both millennials and baby boomers want healthcare teams to do a better job of communicating in-between appointments. Here are five stats from Intrado’s survey that illustrate patients’ high standards for healthcare communication:
- Seventy-six percent of millennials and 64 percent of baby boomers wish healthcare providers would communicate more often between appointments. To meet these patient expectations, healthcare teams can explore new applications for automated notifications. Through the use of EHR data and communications technology, providers can establish more regular communication to eliminate the communication gaps that occur between appointments.
- Nearly all millennials (97%) and baby boomers (94%) want healthcare providers to support them between visits in order to help them more effectively manage their health. Routinely sending patients engagement messages to support disease management and encourage healthy living is an effective way to deliver what patients across multiple generations say they want.
- More than nine in ten millennials (94%) and eight in ten baby boomers (85%) want healthcare teams to send them automated communications (such as automated text, voice call or email reminders) to encourage them to take actions like schedule appointments or take medications. The fact that millennials, in particular, are interested in receiving prompts to schedule appointments is encouraging. Younger patients who are generally in good health often put off scheduling routine preventive exams. But based on feedback from patients, many millennials—like baby boomers—welcome notifications from healthcare providers that alert them when they are due for routine physicals or screenings, and prompt them to schedule those services.
- Ninety percent of millennials and 80 percent of baby boomers want to see healthcare teams provide online surveys or check-ins that ask questions about health in order to help identify patients’ health risks. Healthcare providers can demonstrate their commitment to actively identifying and addressing health risks by inviting patients to complete health risk assessment surveys. Healthcare teams send invitations to take an online survey to all patients, including millennials and baby boomers. Once patients complete the surveys, healthcare teams can follow up with appropriate engagement messages or invite patients to set up an office visit to discuss creating an appropriate care plan.
- Ninety-four percent of millennials and 88 percent of baby boomers are interested in receiving reminders from their healthcare team when medications are ready for pickup or it is time to refill a prescription. The assumption is often that patients with more prescriptions (often older adults) are most likely to want help from providers. However, more millennials than baby boomers say they want to receive medication reminders from their healthcare team. Accommodating this request is simple for teams that leverage their patient engagement technology with data from their EHR. For example, healthcare teams can set up reminder notifications that will automatically prompt patients to refill a prescription every 90 days. It takes minimal time and effort to schedule the medication reminders that help to keep patients on-track with medications.
Millennials are sometimes stereotyped as high-maintenance. However, in many cases, they want exactly what baby boomers want. If healthcare teams work to accommodate these communication preferences, it will lead to improved care for patients of all ages. For more on this topic, download Across Generations: Millennials & Baby Boomers Advance Healthcare Communications.