It’s no secret that Generation Z and Millennials are highly different from older generations, but you might not realize these differences extend to healthcare. One area this is becoming increasingly notable is young adults’ views on primary care physicians (PCPs).
Nearly half (45 percent) of 18-to 29-year-olds and 28 percent of those in the 30 to 49 age range do not have a PCP, according to research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation as reported by The Washington Post. In contrast, only 18 percent of 50- to 64-year-old participants and just 12 percent of those age 65 and older do not have a dedicated PCP.
Regardless of specialty, ensuring your practice offers the accommodations younger patients seek out should be high priority. Read on to learn how you can grow your practice with younger patients.
They grew up with technology at their fingertips, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Gen Z and Millennials expect it to be incorporated into their healthcare. An overwhelming number (92 percent) want full two-way electronic communication with their providers, and 83 percent look for a doctor who allows them to access all their patient information online, according to a 2017 survey conducted by Jefferson Health.
Features like patient portals and telehealth services are a huge draw for young adults. If you want to attract new patients from this demographic, it’s time to incorporate more technology into your practice.
When the younger generation makes a healthcare appointment, they don’t want to pick up the phone. The vast majority (71 percent) of those who participated in the Jefferson Health survey expect providers to offer online scheduling.
Not just a convenience for patients, online scheduling benefits your practice, too, because it allows people to make appointments 24/7. If patients can easily book an appointment on their own time, instead of having to race to the phone during your office hours, they’re more likely to choose your practice.
When young adults are sick, they expect to see a doctor immediately. However, many practices don’t make this easy. The average wait time for new patients to see a doctor is about 24 days, according to a 2017 survey of 15 large metro markets conducted by physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins.
Making an appointment is only half the issue; the younger generation also has no interest in wasting time in your waiting room. However, 85 percent of patients reported waiting 10 to 30 minutes past their appointment to see their healthcare provider, according to a survey conducted by digital research and design firm Sequence.
If you want to grow your practice with Gen Z and Millennial patients, offer same-day appointments and strive to keep the wait time as low as possible.
Gen Z and Millennials are busy. During the day, their schedule is filled with work and school, so it’s hard to make time for a doctor appointment.
Offering evening and weekend hours is a savvy way to attract new patients, because young adults want a provider who fits their schedule. If you make appointments convenient, they are likely to choose you over your peers who close down shop in the afternoon or early evening hours.
Many young adults grew up with social media, so they rely heavily on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 65 percent want to discuss health-related topics and compare providers on social media sites, according to the Jefferson Health survey.
Some 88 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 78 percent of people ages 30 to 49 use at least one social media site, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Pew Research Center. If you want to get on their radar, you need a robust social media presence.
Millennials are expected to become America’s largest population in 2019, according to Pew, so it’s important to tailor your practice to meet their needs. If you’re able to provide the kind of service they seek, they’ll join your regular patient roster and recommend you to their friends.
Want more information on how to grow your practice by attracting young patients? Check out the blog post “How healthcare providers can engage Millennial patients.”
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