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Baby Boomers vs. Millennials: Meeting Patient Expectations

Patient expectations in Los AngelesLaser Eye Center has a 30-year history of changing people’s lives through expert eye care. Because we constantly want to be our best, we keep a finger on the pulse of our industry. Over the past few years, we have noticed a demographic shift with the patients who fill our waiting rooms.

Though baby boomers have been our “safe haven” for nearly as long as we have been in practice — and remain the fastest-growing demographic  millennials are now solidly on our radar. One in every four of our patients is a millennial.

It has become clear to us that baby boomers and millennials have different ideas of what they want out of eye care. Though generational stereotypes do not apply perfectly to every individual, there are certain patterns of thought and behaviors that illuminate how millennials take care of their health, compared to previous generations. As leaders in our field, we feel it is important that our colleagues stay attuned to what different generations want from the health care experience.

Receiving Care

Millennials live a busy life focused on finishing school, building their careers and starting young families. They place a high value on speed and convenience when receiving medical care. The more time they can save, the better.

In contrast, baby boomers have paid their dues in the working world and their children may be grown. They are retired or closely approaching retirement, and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Boomers have more time and resources to devote to getting things done right. They value quality face time with their doctors versus speed and convenience.

Sharing Information

Millennials are constantly connected to technology and generally prefer managing their healthcare digitally for convenience. Many of them also enjoy chatting with medical professionals via social media platforms. To millennials it is important to have the ability to schedule appointments or access medical records through online portals or smartphone apps.

Baby boomers are less familiar with new types of technology and more accustomed to human interactions. They don’t mind picking up the phone or going in person to schedule an appointment or access medical records. A baby boomer may visit a medical practice’s Facebook page, but is less likely to interact with the doctor via other social media platforms.

Making Decisions

Millennials have a reputation for making decisions based on emotional experiences; a single negative experience may cause a millennial to seek out a new provider. Boomers, on the other hand, value loyalty and are more likely to return to doctors with whom they have good relationships.

When it comes to picking out new doctors, most millennials head online, seeking recommendations on platforms such as Healthgrades, Yelp and ZocDoc. They pore over online rating systems and scour a doctor’s social media presence. Boomers make some decisions based on online ratings, but are more likely to rely on word of mouth and their network of peers.

Patient-Focused Care At Its Finest

Our industry has proven adept at evolving our technology and techniques. We also need to understand how to adjust our models of care to align with what different generations want. For a closer look at what we are doing at Laser Eye Center, please contact us today.