This month, we’re looking at three articles that show how innovative strategies and technology can bridge the gap between providers and patients to create better outcomes for everyone involved.
Millennials are approaching healthcare like no other generation
It’s no surprise that the generation who grew up in the Information Age is putting their own spin on the way they interact with providers and the healthcare system. But, there’s more to millennial healthcare than slick apps. They want interactions that reflect their generation’s unique personality.
Understanding millennial needs is becoming increasingly important for employers whose workforce is made up of baby boomer babies. Here are five key differences to keep an eye on:
1. They aren’t seeking a primary care physician
Establishing care with a primary care physician is a critical piece of any cohesive approach to good healthcare. But, many millennials aren’t willing to put up with the sacrifices that often come along with that relationship.
Specifically, they don’t want to wait several days for an appointment, and they don’t want to deal with the unclear pricing for different primary care services.
2. They’re willing to talk about mental health
Compared to older generations, millennials don’t see discussions of mental health as a taboo topic. Instead, they’re more likely to seek the advice of a counselor or therapist to discuss their own mental health struggles and get treatment.
3. They may not have insurance
Millennials are less likely to have insurance than baby boomers or the Gen X generation. Affordability is a major reason why so many remain uninsured, but there are other factors at play. Millennials typically have fewer assets and fewer dependents, which makes them less prone to have other types of insurance, like home, life, and auto insurance.
4. They want telemedicine
Millennials who are used to relying on their smartphones to make life easier are far more interested in telemedicine services. Especially popular are easy-to-use apps that allow them to request appointments or visit with a physician in a matter of minutes.
5. They don’t get trusted health information from providers only
Unlike their parents, millennials rely on a variety of sources for trusted medical information. A simple Google search can yield helpful advice from trusted sources within seconds and allows them to look up symptoms, conditions, and relevant treatments.
Healthcare providers and employers looking to engage with millennials will have to adjust their approach if they want to help this population stay healthy as they age into their 30s and 40s.
Curbing revenue leakage from referrals with digital tools
Specialist referrals are an integral part of a provider’s care plan, but what happens when patients and specialists never end up connecting? The answer is revenue leakage, and it’s leading providers to find new digital solutions.
When patients don’t follow through on a referral, it equates to lost revenue for the specialist. But more importantly, it interrupts a patient’s care journey and drives negative health outcomes.
At the problem’s core is poor communication. Many referrals rely on outdated phone and fax systems that leave patients and providers in the dark about the scheduling process.
More and more, specialists are seeking a digital system that allows more control and transparency for specialists and patients alike. Where such systems are in place, providers have reported a referral-to-appointment ratio increase of more than 30%.
The biggest challenge in switching to a digital referral network lies in interoperability, where a new referral system could speak to other systems already in place.
Patients frustrated with healthcare are looking to tech for help
A new survey by ResMed is illustrating some of the most common pain points for patients. It’s also shedding light on where a solution may lie: new technology.
ResMed’s survey found that:
78% of people think finding medical care should be easier
68% feel that the majority of their time in a hospital isn’t with a physician
63% don’t feel that their health matters in the current system
Poor satisfaction is leading more and more patients to seek healthcare advice online, where they can find information from trusted sources instantly. Many also believe they can use online research to effectively diagnose symptoms and look up treatment options, all without consulting a physician.
Patients are also more likely to adopt tech that allows them to track their own health including wearable devices that help them monitor heart rate and physical activity. Such patients were also more likely to practice better preventive care overall.
Despite a preference for quick access to digital tools, many respondents still want a relationship with a primary care provider. But, one that adopts and integrates new technology into their practice.