According to Kimberly Cromer, director of strategic intelligence and analytics at Cardinal Health, personalizing the patient experience for this generation requires a unique combination of technologies and flexibility. “It's important to understand they're all about 'on demand' and that for them, convenience is king," she said. “For Millennials, brand loyalty is really a foreign concept. They won't hesitate to switch providers if they can get a better price, value or experience."
Cromer pointed to her home state of California for examples of how healthcare organizations are catering to this influential demographic. “In the Bay Area, where there are several high-tech start-ups employing a multitude of Millennials, if you’re a provider that doesn’t offer 24/7 access to healthcare services, you’re behind the times,” she said. As a result—and to keep up with their competitors—most providers in the region now offer their customers telehealth services as well as other technologies to augment convenient access to care.
Leading healthcare organizations like the Cleveland Clinic have also offered same-day appointments that are particularly appealing to Millennials. The service depends on a sophisticated triage process and others like Mount Sinai Hospital are following suit. Companies like Zocdoc are partnering with health systems and physicians’ offices to allow patients to schedule appointments with them through their app.
3. Offer innovative and technology-based services
Some organizations are looking at innovative models to attract young consumers, offering VIP-level access in exchange for annual membership fees. At One Medical in San Francisco, members pay $149 per year for "services and benefits beyond what insurance covers." Customers book same-day appointments online, and can phone, email, or use an app to connect with the company's "Virtual Medical Team" any time of day or night.
Also serving the California market: Heal, a Santa Monica start-up specializing in house calls. For a flat fee of $99, "the caring, unhurried Heal doctors" visit their customers wherever they are—at home, in the office, or even their hotel.
"If you’re a parent with young children, a house call is a great alternative to a late night or early morning visit to an urgent care or emergency room,” Cromer said. “A $99 house call is much preferable over a family trip to a high cost of care site, long wait times and the heightened potential of exposure to other ailments."
Redgrave agreed that many new technologies like wearable devices and clinical virtual reality have been influenced by the Millennial generation as the healthcare industry jostles for their business. "The challenge is to continue to offer these new technologies and services without losing sight of what matters the most," she said.
What matters most, Redgrave explained, is to meet Millennials' demands for a better patient experience. "Like other generations of healthcare consumers, they want consistently strong outcomes. If you don’t give them that, they’ll just go somewhere else."