If you were to ask millennials what their biggest criticism is of their healthcare providers, what would you expect them to say? While this generation may wish to see a broad spectrum of changes across the healthcare industry, it’s clear that patient-provider communication isn’t currently meeting their expectations. A top complaint among this group of patients is that healthcare providers don’t communicate often enough with their patients. And there is probably some validity to their claim.
West surveyed 1,036 adults and 317 healthcare providers in the U.S. The survey revealed that more than three in four millennials (76%) wish healthcare providers would communicate more often between appointments. Healthcare teams can use these three strategies to close some common communication gaps and implement a healthcare assessment on how well their organization does each one.
Reach out and offer support between visits to help patients more effectively manage their health.
Unfortunately, more than one in three doctors (35%) admit their healthcare organization either does not do this at all or does only a fair or poor job communicating and offering support with health management.
Provide online surveys or check-ins that ask questions to help identify patients’ health risks.
Fifty-two percent of healthcare providers say their organization does not use online surveys or check-ins to help identify health risks, or that they do it poorly.
Send patients reminders when medications are ready for pickup or it is time to refill a prescription.
Over half (62%) of healthcare teams don’t do a good job of sending patients reminders to fill prescriptions or alerts that their medications are ready.
While most millennials share in this complaint of insufficient provider communication, their request for more communication between in-office visits is both reasonable and necessary. Furthermore, millennials aren’t the only generation with this expectation. Nearly two in three baby boomers (64%) say they want more communication from healthcare providers. This is something healthcare teams can easily accommodate by using technology.
Most healthcare teams use patient engagement technology to send messages to patients when they need to remind them about upcoming appointments. The use of this same technology can be expanded to send other types of messages to engage patients in their care—unfortunately, healthcare organizations don’t always use it to its potential. Through patient engagement technology, healthcare teams can send patients each of the above communication messages, plus many more.
To learn more about how healthcare teams can maximize their patient engagement technology and start meeting millennials’ and baby boomers’ communication expectations, download Across Generations: Millennials & Baby Boomers Advance Healthcare Communications.