Millennial Patients: Keeping Them in the Office

Your practice might want to make a good first impression when millennial patients are visiting the office. While you might assume that they’ll be too enamored with their smartphones and other gadgets to take notice of your prodding, a recent study says otherwise. According to a recent survey conducted by the Health Industry Distributors Association, millennials are paying close attention to office appearance, cost, customer service and the quality of products used during a visit. This new generation of patients is changing how medical professionals look at patients, so make sure you know what they’re looking for.

What Do Millennial Patients Look For?

A Fair Price

There are about 80 million millennials in the U.S. and they spend about $600 billion each year, so it’s no surprise that cost of care can play a huge factor in whether or not millennial patients will spend money at your practice. Sixty percent of millennials said that cost influenced their evaluation of a provider, and millennials cited it as a significant reason for why they’d leave a provider.

Many millennials are beginning to transition off of their parents’ health plan, so they’re going to be looking for the best deals. Unlike older generations, who often will remain loyal to the same practice for years and years, millennials see healthcare as just another service. For many millennial patients, costs will outweigh familiarity.

Fast Physicians

Just like food, cars, and other forms of service, millennials like things to be fast. This is why, instead of choosing to receive care in a normal practice, many millennial patients are opting to choose a different type of approach. Millennials are also big fans of alternative, retail-style care sites, with 43% of millennials reporting they’ve used an urgent-care site in the past year, and 23% saying they’ve used a retail health clinic in that time frame. Many see this as a quicker alternative to a traditional practice and in many cases, it’s cheaper as well.

“Millennials are looking for convenience and customer service, and they’re not necessarily looking for a long-term, in-depth relationship. It’s a pretty big paradigm shift,” said Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, CEO of the Medical Group Management Association.

Initial Impressions

Another factor that many millennial patients will think about is their initial impression of the practice. Many even opt to look at the practice using a review site like Yelp! Or Consumer Reports to see the quality of care and cost. You might lose a customer before they step into your practice, so make sure your online reviews are looking stellar.

Millennial patients also take notice when equipment is old or not up to par. Twenty-seven percent of millennials reported that a provider failed to meet their expectations based on the quality of products used during the exam and 24% commented on the age of products. While this might seem like a small inconvenience, it could be the difference between a loyal patient, or a lost patient.

It’s important to embrace this generation into your practice. Although their habits might be a little different than others, make sure that you’re providing the best possible care. Many millennials just want a solid relationship with their healthcare provider, so make sure that you’re taking the time to listen and build trust with millennial patients.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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