5 things to know about Gen Z patients, workers

Generation Z – those born between 1995 and 2012 – are increasingly joining the workforce and gaining a more prominent voice in healthcare, leaving organizations to adapt to new digital preferences and patient experiences.

Over the next decade, Gen Z is expected to account for an estimated 61 million new employees in the global workforce, the majority of whom have never lived without internet, smartphones and immediate access to information and products. 

Here are five things to know about working with and for Gen Z employees and patients:

1. They're more comfortable with digital healthcare encounters. Among millennials, Gen X, baby boomers and the silent generation, Gen Z is most likely to choose virtual care over in-person experiences. A recent survey found that 41 percent of Gen Z prefers telemedicine over in-person care, beating out 33 percent of millennials and 9 percent of baby boomers.

2. They're most likely to try virtual care from tech and retail companies. Gen Z feels most comfortable with participating in telehealth visits from tech or social media companies and retail brands as opposed to older generations, according to a recent Accenture survey. Nearly half (46 percent) of Gen Z said they would try virtual care from a tech company and just over one-third (34 percent) would try out virtual care from a retail brand.

3. They have high expectations for career advancement. More than 75 percent of Gen Z workers believe they should get a promotion within their first year of working a job, according to a recent InsideOut Development survey.

4. They're less likely to participate in philanthropy. Gen Z is less likely than millennials to donate to philanthropic causes. A little more than one-third of Gen Z (33 percent) said they are planning to give at least $500 in 2021, compared to 55 percent of millennials and 44 percent of Gen X, according to a recent FrontStream survey.

5. They want more tech integrations in the patient experience. Because Gen Z is more comfortable with technologies and digital healthcare, hospitals and health systems have tried new efforts to keep them engaged during health visits. Boston Children's Hospital has rolled out interactive screens in its lobby and has begun piloting Amazon Alexa devices in inpatient rooms to craft a more personalized experience, Jen Doorly Magaziner, senior director of strategy and innovation at Boston Children's, told Becker's.

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