LEHI, Utah – June 20, 2017 – Twenty percent of boomer patients are somewhat likely to change physicians in the next few years, following findings that 35 percent have already switched in the last two years, according to results of a Solutionreach survey released today. When paired with Morgan Stanley estimates that boomers account for two to three times more healthcare spend than that of millennials, the financial risk for practices is significant.
Solutionreach, a national leader in patient relationship management, conducted the Patient-Provider Relationship Study: The Ripple Effect Starts with Boomers, which examines patient-provider communication dynamics across generations. Findings show that all generations, from boomers to millennials, want more convenient and effective communication options. Currently, 20 percent of boomers, 44 percent of gen Xer’s, and 42 percent of millennials are likely to switch practices unless they get it.
According to the study, patients are feeling less connected to their doctors once they leave their offices. Providers may lose patients, and associated revenue, if they can’t meet modern-day expectations, like text messaging and online communication, especially as patients take more control of their own healthcare. Practice logistics, like wait times, office/staff interactions, communication, and difficulties in making appointments are prompting patients to change providers.
“The Solutionreach survey shows that practice leaders and physicians need to better tailor how they communicate with all patients,” said Josh Weiner, chief operating officer of Solutionreach. “The good news is that across generations, patients want to have more meaningful, convenient, and efficient experiences with their doctors, evidenced by over half of boomers, 60+ percent of gen X and 70+ percent of millennials wanting online, email, and text communication options.”
As the largest current-day consumers of healthcare, boomer survey respondents expressed a desire for various technology conveniences much like younger generations. Boomers are open to new ways of communicating for improved experience.
The boomer desire for more convenient communication, like text, email, and online, is echoed by the younger gen X and millennial generations. In fact, over 70 percent of gen Xer’s and 87 percent of millennials would prefer texts for things like appointment reminders and treatment follow-up. This ripple effect will grow as these generations increase their use of healthcare, especially as millennials currently represent about 25 percent of the population and are slated to pass boomers as the largest U.S. generation.
“Connecting doctors and their patients in more convenient and effective ways is essential to better patient care and healthier practices,” said Jim Higgins, chief executive officer of Solutionreach. “Convenient communication isn’t just a millennial expectation, but one that’s important to older generations, too. Practices that change how they communicate with patients will be better equipped to protect and grow their practice in the future.”
About the Survey
Online interviews were conducted by KL Research Group LLC, with a total of 2,073 consumers from a national e-panel, representing three generations: millennials (21-34 years old), gen X (35-51), and baby boomers (52-70). Participants also met these qualifications: Have some type of health insurance coverage, involved in health decisions for themselves and/or the household, and have visited a doctor in one of four specialties in the past 12 months: Primary Care, Eye Doctor, Dentistry or Dermatology. Respondents were interviewed about one of the specialties they had used, with an average sample size of over 500 per specialty. Age/generation quotas were established for each specialty based on 2016 quantitative usage data from MRI (MediaMark Research Inc.), a large national study of American consumers. The interviews for the Patient-Provider Relationship Study: The Generational Impact on Healthcare Consumerism were conducted between January 24th and February 3rd, 2017.
Solutionreach is revolutionizing the healthcare experience for providers and their patients. Through its market-leading patient relationship management platform, Solutionreach supports higher patient satisfaction and loyalty, greater efficiency, and ultimately, stronger healthcare organizations. Solutionreach partners with more than 25,000 provider organizations in numerous specialties. Learn more at www.solutionreach.com.