Europeans born before 1945 have, until recently, made up a unbalanced number of healthcare patients as they aged. These seniors tend to listen to their doctors, respectfully follow their healthcare system’s rules, and select their local community hospital when they go to checkups. Todays hospitals and healthcare systems are therefore managed with such a comfort in mind.
But Baby Boomers (born roughly between 1946 and 1964) are now between about 54 and 72 years old, and they have become the largest generation of healthcare consumers. Generation X (born roughly between 1965 and 1980) is not too far behind. Boomers and GenXers are known to be more demanding as consumers and also as patients, and Millennials bring even higher expectations of customer service with them.
As this article from Patient Focus describes, “A physician or hospital may provide the highest level of clinical care with the finest of outcomes, but that is only a fraction of what the patient experiences in your office or facility. Successful practices and facilities will deploy new models that accommodate the Boomer as the patient-customer…Quality is defined by meeting or exceeding expectations, and as the business of healthcare continues to evolve, those physicians and facilities that treat Boomers as partners, consumers, and ultimately as valued customers will exceed Boomers’ expectations. Boomers believe they are your customers. You should too.”
Baby Boomers are also much more technology savvy. 83 percent of younger Boomers and 76 percent of older Boomers are using the Internet and studies show that the majority of Boomers prefer to use technology to communicate with their doctors. Studies of the younger generation of patients uncover that they want to have more meaningful, convenient, and efficient experiences with their doctors, evidenced by over half of boomers, 60+ percent of gen X and 70+ percent of millennials wanting online, email, and text communication options as a part of their healthcare services.
As healthcare patients are becoming consumers their expectations of the hospitals, they use also get higher. They are doing online research, choosing hospitals with higher patient satisfaction scores and avoid hospitals with infection out-breaks. A part of the assessment is looking for their healthcare providers ability to stay current with technology and other services.
On the patient safety front, simply having posters at the hospital entrance reminding nurses and doctors to perform hand hygiene is no longer enough. When technologies like Sani nudge exists that transforms hand hygiene behavior with technology – which drastically increases hand hygiene performance and reduces HAIs – healthcare consumers are becoming less tolerant of the status quo. Particularly when they know the old way of doing things risks their health and even their lives. Healthcare organizations need to ensure they are truly Millennial ready hospitals, or they are going to disappoint patients.
If you would like to explore how Sani nudge typically doubles hand hygiene performance rates and reduces HAIs by up to 65%, here’s a brief video about how it works. If you want to see it live in action then book a live demo right here.