High Stakes

Millennials and Patient Experience: Don’t Believe the Hype!

Over the last few years, thousands of “experts” have sprouted across every conceivable industry ready to convince you that the world, as you once knew it, is ending. To thank for this apparently seismic shift, which inevitably spells disaster for your business – Millennials!

With patient experience metrics and improving HCAHPS scores’ becoming increasingly hot topics among hospital executives, we’ve begun to notice a growing trend of collective handwringing as many worry, “What are we going to do about Patient Experience for Millennials?”

Stop. Breathe. And consider the following from an in-patient care perspective.

As a generation Millennials are far more tech savvy and more likely to be engaged via mobile devices than their parents or grandparents. But growing to accept new technologies and incorporate them into one’s means of patient outreach need not be a mountain to climb. Nor will it be a game changer for your patient experience efforts.

The technological shifts we’re experiencing today are not the first time in history information has begun to be disseminated in new ways. My grandparents got their information from the newspaper and radio; my parents added a television to the mix; my generation added… well… the color television AND the internet! People have continued to get sick and hospitals have, by and large, managed to keep pace technologically. Switching from a flip phone to a smart phone didn’t change any of that.

The long and the short of it is this: With the advent of increased consumerism, patients (of all ages) have more choice and more transparency these days. Naturally, they are going to gravitate to where they feel the most comfortable, taken care of and where they can get ACCESS. That’s consumerism in a nutshell.

All of us are consumers, so why are we concerned with this big shift “patients to consumers”? How do you like to be treated? Will you base your assessment of the care you receive from a hospital on their lack of the latest in consumer technology or a presence on SnapChat?

Or is it more likely that, when you engage with the healthcare system, you will want to be seen by a team of competent, attentive and compassionate caregivers at every touchpoint, in a reasonable amount of time and, should the situation require, at regular intervals (i.e. ROUNDS).

If your facility can make that happen, your PX metrics will reflect it, regardless of the reviewer’s age.

So, bottom line; stop stressing about how to engage and treat each generation in a different way. Do you really think your staff can flex their service standards by generation?  Access, compassion, empathy and high quality care work for every generation!