For most doctors, patient visits tend to skew a little older. This should not dissuade you, however, from creating a practice that is inclusive and inviting to younger generations. Millennials, in particular, can be a challenging demographic to entice.
According to an article from the American Academy of Family Practitioners (AAFP) in Family Practice Management, Millennials are the largest adult population in the country, which means their behaviors will have a great impact on shaping the future of healthcare. That being said, there is mounting evidence that they don’t value medical advice from a practitioner to the same degree as previous generations. Although the AAFP article is slanted toward primary care, many lessons can be learned regarding how to attract, earn the trust of, and maintain a medical relationship with this significant population. Not surprisingly, Millennials value technology and technological interface that saves time and is quick to meet their needs. As discussed in a Forbes article, technology needs to play a big role in the entire healthcare process. This would include online accessibility to scheduling appointments, receiving appointment and prescription reminders, access to records, and being able to search information. Beyond the management of healthcare through apps, Millennials also want access to telemedicine that can address their health issues conveniently.
Convenience seems to be a keyword on the Millennial healthcare checklist—as is information. Millennials will appreciate receiving the upfront costs of their medical care as well as the options available to them. It’s not uncommon for them to research their ailment and look for a full spectrum of options for treatment, including holistic care. If you refuse to engage them or dismiss their contribution to the healthcare process, you may end up alienating them. Instead, validate their participation while still steering them toward their best options.
Another way to attract and engage your Millennial patients is by creating a robust website that can provide the technological offerings they value, while providing information they can use to better prepare themselves for their visit. Developing and maintaining a top-of-the-line website with convenient interfaces and fresh content can be a great expense, but it may be worth it if you want to keep your practice thriving with a new generation of patients.