The curious thing about growth-minded hospitals and medical practices is that foresight happens just beyond the horizon. Attracting new patients is a constant challenge when success means driving beyond the range of the headlights. Hospitals and medical groups have faith in their research and planning.
Related: 9 Essential Steps to Improve Doctor Ratings Online
Today’s patients—demographically-speaking—will not be your patient base of tomorrow. Things change constantly with the biggest cohorts. Here are some of the differences, and the similarities, of what Millennials and Boomers want from healthcare today and in the future.
There was a fair amount of fanfare recently when the Millennial group (statistically) surpassed the Boomer group in size. The “biggest and most affluent” group dominated online content. It was as if the Boomers had evaporated.
In fact, the Millennial group is only a shade larger than Baby Boomers. (Rarely mentioned is the substantial and important crowd labeled Gen-X, often bundled with Millennials.) For your marketing to remain effective, these demographic groups require regular attention and adjustments. Keep in mind that stats are a moving target, but for planning purposes, here are the numbers:
Millennials Born 1977 to 1995 75.4 million
Generation X Born 1965 to 1976 66.0 million
Baby Boomers Born 1946 to 1964 74.9 million
Change is a constant factor as hospitals and providers work to reinvent themselves. The essential shift is to break away from the traditional, physician-centered system to a patient-centered delivery model. It is a monumental re-thinking of the delivery system for some institutions and individuals.
Regardless of the demographic sector, nearly all patients hold some expectations in common. For greater satisfaction, according to Kelton surveys, patients say they want:
In addition, all age groups increasingly value the consumer-driven concept of “convenience,” which is a mainstay of retail and other service industries. Older and less-mobile Boomers are open to extended services such as home visits. Millennials, who have never been without the instant Internet at their fingertips, value immediacy as a standard in care delivery.
Some of the additional characteristics, expectations and marketing considerations of the “digital generation” include:
Overview: Cater to convenience. Millennials trust and use their familiar digital tools. (And don’t trust services that don’t use technology. They want and appreciate efficient and affordable care. But if they are dissatisfied, about 60 percent are likely to tell their friends.
The number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double over the next few decades. In part, individuals in this group are living longer and they are working longer. Among the Baby Boomer generation, some of the additional characteristics, expectations and marketing considerations include:
Overview: Consumerism increasingly influences healthcare shopping and decision-making for themselves and for close family members. Older Americans are invested in sharing part of the cost of medical care. They actively participate in their healthcare decisions and delivery process, often with a strong concern for costs and seeking the greatest value.
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