Thursday, June 17, 2010

4 generations of healthcare consumers: differences and changing expectations presented by Michael Howe

In a recent online seminar, healthcare pioneer Michael Howe shared the differences in the 4 generations served by today’s healthcare providers.

For instance, the current healthcare system is structured to meet the expectations of the Greatest Generation, yet it is out of date for the majority of patients providers are now facing. Baby Boomers are looking for a system that provides two way communication and shared decision making. As the younger generations (Gen X’ers and Millennials) increase their personal and family usage of the healthcare system their service expectations will not be met. The Millennial generation is looking for a healthcare experience that is more consistent with the communal support and technology based access they experience in their personal lives (think Facebook, Twitter, and blogging).

Today’s providers can learn a great deal from other service minded organizations that are successfully meeting these changing expectations driven by the new generations.

Michael Howe is the former Chief Executive Officer of MinuteClinic - pioneer of the retail health care concept. From June 2005 to June 2008, he strategically led the national expansion of this disruptive model of health care to more than 525 health care centers in 27 states.

According to Howe, physicians are being overwhelmed by comments about consumerism and the steps they should take to make their practices successful in this new environment. Typically their derisive retort in the face of this input is, “Healthcare is not a retail store. We have nothing to learn from other service providers.” The truth is successful retailers understand they can change consumer behavior (i.e. purchase patterns) by delivering an experience that matches the consumers’ expectation. Healthcare providers can improve compliance to a treatment regimen (i.e. quality of care) by delivering an experience that matches their patients’ expectations in communication, education, and engagement.
Howe offers these learnings:
  • New insights in what is driving the consumer decision making 
  • Differences between the 4 generations served by today’s healthcare providers 
  • What consumers are expecting from their healthcare system
  • How physicians can deliver on the needs and expectations of their changing patient cohort

No comments: