How Gen Z is shaking up healthcare & the workplace: 5 things to know 

Generation Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — are not only changing the way we work, they're pushing healthcare to adapt to new digital technologies and methods of patient engagement. 

Gen Z is expected to make up about 61 million new employees in the global workforce over the next decade, and most of this group has never lived without the internet, smartphones or immediate access to information and products. 

Here are five things to know about Gen Z in the workplace and how it's shaking up healthcare: 

1. They might be missing out on office mentorships, traditional workplace office skills. Some workplace and management experts recently told The Wall Street Journal that Gen Z workers are at risk of losing out on professional development skills that come from in-person orientations and interactions since many started careers virtually during the pandemic. 

2. They're leading the charge in potential abandonment of email. While often hailed as digital natives, individuals younger than 30 years old are more often leaving email behind as they adopt Google Docs, Zoom and iMessage as their top workplace technologies. 

3. They're inspiring hospital communication changes. When it comes to reaching Gen Z patients, some hospitals, such as Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, are tailoring their strategies to be more digital. Gen Z is extremely comfortable using telemedicine, online scheduling and bill paying to meet their communication and healthcare needs. 

4. They're shaking up marketing plans. Gen Z is especially skilled at recognizing "cringe," or missteps that occur when an older person tries to speak its language. Marketers are coming up with new strategies to avoid this cringe factor and ensure that their brands don't use outdated vocabulary or references that are no longer popular with Gen Z. 

5. They're sparking new social media use among clinicians. Because of Gen Z's preference for digital platforms, more physicians have been getting on board with apps like TikTok to engage with them on healthcare matters. Austin Chiang, MD, chief social media officer at Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health, created an account on TikTok to teach Gen Z about a range of COVID-19 topics, including vaccinations and CDC guidelines.


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