HIMSS panel: 8 insights into generational patient engagement

During HIMSS16, three health IT leaders gave a presentation on patient engagement for four different generations.

Patricia Wise, vice president of health information systems with HIMSS, Christina Hoffman, vice president with Medscape/WebMD, and Jamie DeMaria, senior vice president with Medscape/WebMD, shared eight insights into engaging healthcare consumers, from the silent generation to millennials.

Silent generation (Born prior to 1942)

1. The silent generation tends to rely on physicians to provide direction. They are prepared to defer to a physician's judgment.

2. These patients frequently require longer visits due to clinical acuity and their preferences. They also have rigid views when it comes to good service.

Baby boomers (Born between 1943 and 1960)

3. Baby boomers value individual engagement during healthcare encounters. They seek guidance from their physicians, but also bring their own research.

4. Baby boomers are often involved in their parents' healthcare, as well as healthcare for their children.

Generation X (Born between 1961 and 1981)

5. Gen Xers are a relatively healthy group. They actively seek information about their own care, but tend to assume their healthcare providers are knowledgeable. This group has more in common with millennials than the preceding generation.

6. They are more likely to switch providers based on a recent experience, rather than the overall experience.  

Millennials (Born between 1982 and 2000)

7. Millennials are more likely to use an OB-GYN as a primary care physician. They have low inpatient and outpatient service use. They are likely to enter the healthcare system through the emergency department or maternity care providers.

8. This generation actively seeks the use of technology in their healthcare experience. Like Gen Xers, millennials are more likely to switch providers based on a recent experience rather than the overall experience.

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