3 ways to make your practice more attractive to millennial patients

By Matt Kuhrt

The millennial generation's arrival in the workforce has generated change across the economy, and healthcare practices will need to adjust to their expectations if they hope to compete for new patients, according to a blog post on Medical Economics written by Carol Gibbons, CEO of CJ Consulting.

Among the major healthcare trends driven by millennials, FierceHealthcare has reported a move toward a more retail-oriented mindset, often due to concerns with cost and convenience. As Gibbons points out, one practical result of all of this is a marked resistance to scheduling preventive care and a desire to discuss the cost of their care with their providers. Online comparisons among practices and a tendency to rely on thinly sourced healthcare information gleaned from the internet can also present challenges, per the post.

All of this likely means practices will need to undertake some changes in order to cater to a new generation of patients. A sampling of Gibbons' recommendations includes these:

- Beef up your online presence. Millennials have grown up with technology, so practices need to be prepared to interact with them via a solid web site, preferably with online payment options, as well as on social media, says Gibbons.

- Make the patient experience as convenient as possible. If retail clinics are going to be the competition, convenience will be the coin of the realm, according to Gibbons, who advocates boosting a practice's availability by offering virtual visits, or by streamlining waiting rooms to reduce delays.

- Look for incentives to keep patients happy. Gibbons suggests rewarding patients for scheduling and attending wellness visits as a way of overcoming millennials' natural reticence to do so. She also recommends considering auxiliary services, such as coaching for nutrition or smoking cessation, as a way of differentiating a practice and keeping in closer contact with patients.

To learn more:
- read the blog post