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How to balance Gen Z’s desire for digital health tools with boomers’ reluctance

Published here at Becker’s Hospital Review.


While most older patients remain wary of engaging with digital health tools, younger generations are not only fully on board, but are also choosing healthcare providers based primarily on their digital offerings, according to a new NRC Health report.

This generational gap can pose major problems for providers hoping to craft a strategy that appeals to and satisfies every patient. Rather than trying to cater to each generation’s individual preferences, however, according to the 2020 Healthcare Consumer Trends report, healthcare organizations should focus instead on achieving the one thing patients of all ages can agree on: convenience.

“At every point in healthcare, there’s so much friction. Customers have a terrible time navigating the system,” Brian Curtiss, marketing director at Clearwater, Fla.-based BayCare Health System, said in the report.

To do so, healthcare leaders will need to look past generational stereotypes — tech-savvy Generation Z and millennials, and old-fashioned baby boomers — and zero in on the societal and environmental issues affecting their specific patient populations.

“Gen X, boomers, millennials — we’re all stressed out. We all want things to be more convenient,” Mr. Curtiss said. “If an organization can create that feeling of frictionless ease, no matter what the demographic of the customer, it’ll make them happy.”