Millennials and Baby Boomers aren't so different after all.
Years before the oldest baby boomers reached retirement age, the healthcare industry began to prepare for the impact of an aging generation. Healthcare providers and organizations have dedicated time and resources to studying the needs of boomers and adapting to meet them. Now, as approximately 10,000 baby boomers per day turn 65, the healthcare industry faces the challenge of continuing to deliver targeted care to boomers while simultaneously adopting new practices to meet the care expectations of the largest living adult population in the United States: millennials.
An Intrado survey that compared the healthcare expectations of baby boomers and millennials found that both patient demographics desire more and better communication from their healthcare teams. However, boomers and millennials have their own unique needs and communication preferences, so it is important to have patient engagement strategies in place for each of these distinct patient groups. Healthcare teams that do may be able to increase patient satisfaction and elevate the quality of care for both baby boomers and millennials.
Related article: How to Engage Different Generations with Their Healthcare Benefits
According to Intrado’s survey of 1,036 U.S. adults, nearly two in three baby boomers (64%) say they wish healthcare providers would communicate more often between appointments. Given that older Americans typically have greater healthcare needs, this interest in communication isn’t particularly surprising.
What is surprising is the fact that even more millennials than boomers say they want to engage with their doctors between appointments. More than three in four millennials (76%) wish for more frequent communication from healthcare providers between visits-proving that both age groups of patients want their providers’ attention.
Fortunately, giving them that attention may be simpler than it seems.
Tips for communicating with boomers and millennials
Many healthcare teams already have and use patient engagement technology to send patients messages to remind them about upcoming appointments. By leveraging the same technology that is used to send appointment reminders, healthcare providers can deliver personalized text, phone, and email messages that give baby boomers and millennials more of the meaningful between-visit communication they crave. The following examples show a few of the opportunities healthcare teams have to engage boomers and millennials through routine communication:
Despite the multitude of opportunities for healthcare teams to communicate with patients, regular between-visit communication is typically uncommon. As a result, fewer than half of baby boomers (45%) and only 66% of millennials surveyed by Intrado said they believe their healthcare providers want to communicate with them between appointments. Fortunately, healthcare teams can easily demonstrate their commitment to supporting patients-from millennials to baby boomers-by using their patient engagement technology to improve and increase communication.
These examples illustrate a small handful of ways healthcare teams can use tailored automated communications to address the needs of both baby boomers and millennials and offer value between in-person appointments.
Nate Brogan currently serves as president of Notification Services at Intrado, where the healthcare mission is to help organizations harness communications to expand the boundaries of where, when, and how healthcare is delivered.