Looking for better ways to digitally engage with Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z patients? Of course you are — finding new ways to connect with today’s modern patients has never been more important.
Last month, Nextech and TouchMD hosted a webinar highlighting “3 Essential Ways to Engage with Patients Digitally.” We dive deeply into the generational divides and what today’s modern patient looks for when making healthcare decisions. Plus, we take a look at Nextech’s latest acquisition, TouchMD and its myriad of tools that can help you exceed patient expectations at every touchpoint.
First things first though, let’s break down the five different generations:
- The Silent Generation — 1925-1945
- The Baby Boomer Generation — 1946-1964
- Generation X — 1965-1979
- Millennials — 1980-1994
- Generation Z — 1995-2012
Today, medical professionals are seeing patients spanning from the Silent Generation all the way to Generation Z. While physicians must find ways to connect with each generational age group, it’s also important for providers to know how each generation engages with medical professionals. Let’s look at each generation a little more closely:
The Silent Generation
When it comes to their healthcare, those in the Silent Generation want more traditional healthcare setups. The Silent Generation, ages 79-92, is more likely to follow doctor’s orders than any other generation.
Additionally, the Silent Generation makes their health decisions based on a plethora of avenues including:
- Word-of-mouth recommendations
- Trust of and relationship with their doctor
- Online rating services
- Positive reputations
It’s interesting to note that while the Silent Generation didn’t grow up with the world wide web, they do, in fact, turn to the internet and engage with it when it comes to fully understanding their healthcare options.
Those between the ages of 56-74 are known as the Baby Boomer generation. When it comes to their healthcare, Baby Boomers seek trustworthy doctors with well-renowned reputations. Additionally, Baby Boomers seek out high-quality care over anything else.
More traditional than younger generations — Baby Boomers value healthcare recommendations from other healthcare professionals. Baby Boomers rely more on their existing relationships with healthcare providers to influence their decisions.
Gen X-ers want three things when it comes to their healthcare: excellent service, flexible appointment options, and convenient scheduling.
Compared to other generations and their healthcare preferences, Generation X values convenience and ease over anything else. However, when making major healthcare decisions, Gen X-ers are more likely to actively seek out and analyze multiple sources before settling on their decision.
Out of all generations, Generation X is more likely to shop for healthcare options the way they make retail decisions — they’re not afraid to shop around.
When it comes to making healthcare decisions, those in the Millennial generation strongly value price transparency, provider experience, and robust digital options. Internet-savvy and information-hungry, Millennials know how to leverage technology to find the healthcare answers they’re looking for.
While older generations are more likely to listen to healthcare professionals, more Millennials opt to do their own research by turning to their peers and the knowledge at their fingertips via their mobile devices.
Ages 8-23 makeup Generation Z. This generation wants two specific things from their healthcare professionals: an abundance of digital options and an emphasis on preventative care.
When it comes to making health decisions, Gen Z-ers are more likely to look to their parents for their opinion, while simultaneously weighing both the convenience and quality of a provider. The more digital offerings a provider has, the more appealing they are to Generation Z. To put things in perspective, 33 percent of Gen Zers trust TikTok more than a doctor.
In addition to their physical health, Generation Z patients are highly focused on their mental health too.
A look at the modern patient
Keeping all these generations and their specific preferences in mind is…a lot. Offering the same patient experience across the board no longer works because it is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. That being said — it’s pivotal for healthcare professionals to, at least, understand the makeup of today’s modern patient.
First, today’s modern patients are incredibly tech-savvy and well-versed in digital content. Second, these patients no longer rely just on search engines and websites to get their information — they also consume content via Instagram and TikTok.
Lastly, modern patients expect a lot from healthcare providers today — from pre-consult to post-consultation and everything in between. The more a practice can meet patients where they are and empower them with knowledge — the more successful a practice can be in today’s modern healthcare landscape.
How to connect with today’s modern patient
To ensure success during a consultation with today’s modern patient, keep three things in mind:
First and foremost, a successful consultation with today’s modern patient is centered around a personalized experience. Patients want to feel like their specific needs are being catered to and thoroughly addressed.
Second, consultations should always be interactive. The more engaged a patient is during a consultation, the better. With today’s modern patients seeking more control and understanding about their healthcare options, having clear ways to address your patient and their specific needs, while allowing them to actively listen and participate in the conversation, is pivotal.
Lastly, to ensure you’re offering consultations that meet today’s patients where they are, it’s critical to prioritize information retention. It’s important for patients to feel like they are fully informed about their healthcare, during a consultation and after.
TouchMD thoroughly understands today’s modern patient — making it a perfect consultation tool before, during, and after. With more than 10 years of bespoke, turnkey solutions, TouchMD helps practices and physicians create a more personalized patient care approach.
With TouchMD, you have a full suite of ways to stay ahead of the curve with your modern patients. The TouchMD ultimate consultation hub offers:
- Consult Core ™ — A customized patient consultation software
- Snap™ — Advanced photo management and tools
- Consents ™ — Signable patient consent forms
- Playlist ™ — Point-of-Care patient marketing for your practice
- Blast ™ — Push notifications/patient marketing
- Reach ™ — Integrated HIPAA Compliant Telehealth
In fact, patients that have a TouchMD consultation are 26 percent more likely to move forward with a procedure than those not leveraging TouchMD’s suite of capabilities.
Age isn’t just a number
No matter what generation you’re in, it’s important to reflect on the needs of modern patients and the unique challenges they face. The more you understand generational needs and today’s modern landscape, the better you can serve your patients. Ready to step outside of the box and digitally engage with your patients?