Millennial behavior is leading change in just about every industry, healthcare included. According to Pew Research Center, which defined members of this generation as people born between 1980 and 1997, there are now more 16- to 36-year-olds than baby boomers. That said, the healthcare industry faces a constant struggle to accommodate both generations, but recent adjustments show medical care is matching up with millennial needs.
"33% of millennials share health information on social media."
What millennials want in healthcare
According to Team HFA, millennials crave a holistic approach to health, which seems appropriate considering they take a more comprehensive view of their overall well-being than past generations. A 2015 Yahoo Health Study found that this generation spends more than other age groups on items in the health and fitness category.
Plus, they are more than ready to integrate wellness into their tech-driven social lives. For instance, the study found that 33 percent of these individuals share health information on their social media platforms, via text or through emails.
Millennials also want healthcare catered to their needs. As Kathy Hempstead of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation explained to USA Today, those in this age group expect a trip to the hospital to have the same customer service as an evening at a restaurant.
"Older people have sort of gotten used to interacting with healthcare providers in certain ways," she said. "I think millennials are going to give the healthcare industry more impetus to really improve the customer service part of what they do."
Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, a millennial provider, told USA Today that members of this generation don't want to take time out of their days to visit a doctor. That's part of the reason they embrace holistic wellness - they want to stay healthy enough to avoid making an appointment. Because of this, preventative health is extremely important to millennials.
Is healthcare ready for millennials?
It would seem that the future of healthcare is actually in line with what millennials are looking for, especially with the move from fee-for-service to value-based care. According to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, this initiative aims to boost care quality and health outcomes in general, aligning with 16- to 36-year-olds' desire for a more comprehensive medical approach.
This goal is reached by rewarding providers based on the well-being status and other measures instead of just the volume of tests ordered. Doctors are more focused on keeping patients from being readmitted. The implementation of value-based care, when applied effectively, meets millennials' desire to avoid scheduling appointment after appointment.
In an effort to keep patients healthy and reduce costs in value-based care, providers also put greater emphasis on preventative medicine. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, many tests are covered under the Affordable Care Act for this purpose, including screenings for alcohol misuse, Type 2 diabetes and depression. Diet counseling and immunizations are also covered. As noted, millennials embrace preventative health, which means value-based care's emphasis on this type of wellness also matches their needs.
For a provider, being able to deliver that high-quality holistic care this generation demands involves having the appropriate tools for the job. Electronic health records give clinicians a comprehensive view of each patient's health history and current well-being status, allowing them to make informed decisions that ultimately lead to better health outcomes.
Depending on the EHR vendor, physicians may have access to the IMO 2.0 Enhanced Terminology Platform (ETP). This tool provides the most current dictionaries and maps clinical terms within ICD-9, ICD-10 and SNOMED to all standardized reimbursement codes. This means clinicians can be as specific as possible in documenting patient health, allowing for more enhanced care.
IMO clinical terminology is the most widely used in the industry - find out why.