Fifty-eight percent of baby boomers, who consume the largest portion of healthcare services in the country, are spending three times more for personal healthcare than the average working-age person, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Across generations, including for boomers, research has found that text and online touch-points have the greatest opportunity to improve patient satisfaction and retention. At the top of all patients’ “ideal doctor” wish lists are greater connectivity, convenience via text and online tools, and, as always, more time with their physician. Digital care delivers all of these things.
Generation X find themselves at the center of healthcare decision making for themselves, their children, and their parents. They are characterized as “hungry for information, skeptical of experts, but loyal to a plan of action once they make a decision” – and the same could be said of their approach to healthcare.
Gen Xers may be the smallest generation in size when compared to boomers and millennials, but they currently have more spending power than any other generation. Given their influence over healthcare purchasing for multiple generations, dissatisfaction with their doctor relationships should give practices pause:
Only about 30% of Gen Xers report they are “completely satisfied” with their primary care physician, ophthalmologist, and dermatologist. Satisfaction with dentists ranked higher, with 40% reporting they are “completely satisfied.”
44% of Gen Xers are “extremely, very, or somewhat likely” to switch primary care physicians in the next two to three years. Dermatologists rank second lowest in loyalty among Gen Xers at 35%.
Gen X patients crave text and online communications with doctors – 77% also would favor appointment reminders by text, and 67% would appreciate texts to remind them of the need for follow-up care or treatment.
Given the number of family members for whom Gen X patients likely manage healthcare appointments and decisions, providing options for communication that best meet their needs is critical to attracting and keeping these patients.
As millennials age and have more spending power, their preferences for convenience will disrupt the traditional healthcare system. Today’s “nice-to-haves” will be tomorrow’s essentials. In contrast to their older counterparts, millennials won’t just expect these conveniences – they’ll demand them. Without addressing how millennials communicate, providers will risk losing them to other practices.
Compared with boomers, millennials are much less satisfied with their experience with their doctors.
43% percent are at least somewhat likely to switch physicians in the next few years, according to a study.
Most cite lack of convenience as their motivation to make a switch.
The statistics don’t lie – the need for digital care transcends generations, and the healthcare industry finally has a solution.