Technology bridges the generation gap
Healthcare going online may not seem like an earth-shattering concept to you–unless you’re in the midst of adapting to the requirements of Meaningful Use in your hospital, system, or practice.
Patients interacting with their healthcare is, however, a relatively new phenomenon but it’s rapidly taking hold.
In our 2014 “What’s Reasonable?” study, we, not surprisingly, found that the younger generations, X (ages 21-33) and Y (ages 34-48) are the ones that are most likely to prefer online access to healthcare information and providers. They’re the ones most likely to want to pay their medical bills, look at their lab results and make a future routine appointment online, versus more conventional means.
More of the consumers in older segments (ages 49 and up) did tend to prefer traditional rather than online methods of communication with a doctor’s office, at least for certain functions including reviewing/paying their medical bill and making a future appointment.
While Generations X and Y are more strident in wanting healthcare to move online, Baby Boomers are actually the biggest consumers of healthcare services in the U.S. right now. And keep this in mind: 84% of our Baby Boomer respondents, more than in any other age cohort, are already using the Internet to find out information about a medical condition or drug.
How long will it be before they also start putting pressure on healthcare providers to “get online” and make it easy to set appointments, refill a prescription, get medical advice, and view their lab results? Meaningful Use can’t get here fast enough for lots of Baby Boomers who already use smartphones.
The use of technology is certainly not limited to just Generations X and Y. Baby Boomers’ huge presence in healthcare makes them a significant influencer in healthcare’s future–and the move for 24-7 online access and information.
To learn more about our 2014 “What’s Reasonable?” study and download a full deck of the results, click here.