Patient Acquisition in the Age of Millennials
There is a new wave in healthcare, and they are known as the Millennials. The Millennials recently overtook the Baby Boomers as the largest living generation, so they are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Baby Boomers are still the largest group of healthcare consumers, but this new generation has a different set of ideas about the healthcare system. If you want to attract young patients to your practice, you’ll need to adapt the way you conduct business.
According to PNC Healthcare, Millennials are dramatically altering the landscape of healthcare service and delivery, and there are important aspects that you should pay attention to.
Speed of Healthcare Delivery: This younger generation values convenience. They want what they want, and they want it fast. They prefer using clinics like those at pharmacies or large retailers. For bigger issues, they’ll visit an urgent care facility, but they are unlikely to visit a primary care physician. Their concerns are convenient hours of operation and long wait times that are more typical in traditional offices.
Attracting Millennials to your practice may mean offering earlier or later hours, or even weekend hours to meet their need for convenience. If they visit an E.R., they may need to be prompted to visit a primary care doctor for follow-up care.
Electronic Healthcare: Millennials grew up from the time they were toddlers using computers. They have always had an internet and used cell phones from a very young age. They rely on online reviews to help them make decisions on nearly everything, and this includes healthcare issues. They look at social media to help them form opinions, and they use the internet to research health issues and providers.
To attract young patients to your practice, the Internet is key. Having a solid, positive presence on the Internet will matter to these potential patients. Review sites that are monitored with responses to comments, an active presence on various social media sites, and a clean, user-friendly website that is informational and well designed are all critical steps toward attracting younger patients and building a credible reputation with them.
Cost Conscious: Millennials came of age during what is now called the Great Recession, so an awareness of financial concerns related to health care is second nature to them. In fact, they are more conscious of costs than even their Baby Boomer counterparts. Prior to receiving certain healthcare treatments, 41% of millennials said they would a cost estimate before considering the treatment, and 54% said they have actually delayed or cancelled treatment due to the cost.
To attract young patients, you and your staff must be ready to provide clear, accurate cost information in advance. Transparency is a buzzword for Millennials, and attracting them to your practice will require that you offer them honest information on the costs of procedures and services.
As Millennials become more influential in the healthcare world, their requirements will become the expectations of your other patients as well. Preparing to meet these expectations will take planning and thoughtfulness. With a bit of time and consideration, you’ll find that new, younger patients will begin to seek out your care, and they’ll be sure to spread the word for you as well.
For more information on attracting new patients, click here!