Why Does the Healthcare Industry Need Millennial Physicians?

Millennial physician engagementChanging market forces in the healthcare industry have fueled hyper-competition among organizations. With the shift toward value-based care and the rise of the healthcare consumer, hospitals and health systems must engage patients and consumers by fostering meaningful and lasting relationships.

Millennial physicians can bring value to hospitals and health systems by leading technology adoption, cross-team collaboration, and innovation necessary to drive revenue in an evolving healthcare market.

Let’s take a look at how millennial physicians can benefit the healthcare industry: 

They’re Tech-Savvy

Millennials are known for being early adopters of new technology. This generation grew up in the age of the Internet and mobile computing, so they tend to be more comfortable with changing technology and know how to adapt quickly. In fact, Forrester research found 65 percent of millennials agree with the statement “I like technology,” compared with 41 percent of Baby Boomers.

Millennial providers typically seek technology that can improve care quality and increase efficiencies, and also tend to prioritize long-term benefits of technology adoption over short-term implementation challenges, according to a Becker’s Hospital Review survey.

For this reason, millennial physicians may be more open to adopt healthcare technology that can improve the quality of care, such as EHRs and CRM platforms and other Engagement-enabling systems. This younger generation of providers may also be more likely to integrate mobile apps, telehealth, and social media as a part of their patient communication tools.

How This Benefits the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare technology has the potential to transform patient care. Providers can take advantage of the rich behavioral, medical, and financial data aggregated in a healthcare CRM to reach the right patients and prospects with relevant information at the right time.

Especially in a time of fierce competition, the right technology can help health systems deliver the personalized experiences consumers want.

Ultimately, a consumer-focused approach to care can improve existing patient-physician relationships, boost acquisition of new patients, and drive health system profits.

Physician Alignment

They’re Collaborative

For the millennial provider, a large practice with opportunity for knowledge sharing and collaboration is critical. Millennials want to be part of an engaging, collegial work environment that allows them to provide high-quality clinical care, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.

InVentiv Health Group’s recent research names the millennial generation of providers “The Collaborative Clinician”. Not only are younger physicians interested in collaborating with their peers, but they also expect a degree of collaboration from their millennial patients.

In fact, the study found that millennial doctors are more likely to ask Gen Y patients to do additional research on their own. That being said, the majority of millennial physicians are not usually influenced by patient medication requests. Only 23 percent of millennial physicians are influenced by patient requests when prescribing treatment, versus 41 percent of non-millennial physicians. This shows that millennial physicians are more collaborative and appreciate a patient’s research, but they aren’t willing to let the patient dictate their care plan.

The research also discovered that 52 percent of millennial providers prefer two-way conversations with their peers when discussing and learning about new treatment options. Almost half of millennial doctors find educational experiences that are driven by colleagues to be the most relevant for learning about new treatments.

How This Benefits the Healthcare Industry

To effectively engage patients and consumers, the healthcare industry needs to focus on a holistic patient experience. This is dependent on breaking down silos between departments like clinical operations, marketing, finance, and IT.

Millennial Physician Team

While the operations department is heavily involved with patient experience initiatives, they lack the valuable insight marketing departments and data analysis can provide vis-à-vis how leads are qualified, where they come from, and what their best interests are.

In order to deliver the best possible patient experience, these departments need to share valuable information and work together to engage patients at every touch point of their journey. Millennial physicians may be more likely than older physicians to lead interdepartmental collaboration projects that will improve the quality of care.

Millennial physicians’ openness for collaboration with their patient can also improve experiences and quality of care. Over 70 percent of Internet users looked online for health information over the past year, and 53 percent of those searchers then talked to their clinician about what they found. Since millennial physicians encourage this behavior, they may be more willing to have an open discussion with the patient about the research.

They’re Innovative

Millennial physicians are more open to a flexible workplace and a healthy variety of day-to-day activities in order to avoid career burn out when compared to their older counterparts. They aren’t as tied down to old processes and instead look toward new ideas that may increase the efficiency of care delivery and improve patient interactions.     

This innovative nature is necessary for technology adoption and implementation, especially in the case of mobile health and telehealth. These new delivery methods have the potential to revolutionize access to and quality of care across the world.

Due to their innovative nature, millennial providers may be more comfortable with the “brave new world” of healthcare and the potential opportunities it provides.

How This Benefits the Healthcare Industry

One of the downfalls of the healthcare industry is that processes can stay in place for a long time, even if they’re no longer efficient. Many healthcare departments need an innovative leader who is willing to spearhead digital health and patient engagement tactics that will draw in more patients who will ultimately receive a better experience.

Final Thoughts

A recent Deloitte study found hospitals with excellent ratings on patient satisfaction surveys had a net profit margin of 4.7 percent on average, compared with 1.8 percent margin for hospitals with low ratings during the same time period. 

The market shifts in the healthcare industry, including value-based care and the rising healthcare consumer, require health systems to innovate in order to remain competitive. Millennial providers can help lead the way in technology adoption, collaboration, and innovation required to actively engage patients and create holistic experiences throughout the entire care continuum.

Physician Alignment Strategies

Emilio Ruocco

Emilio Ruocco

Emilio serves as Evariant’s Vice President, Physician Practice leader, ensuring the company’s Healthcare CRM/PRM, business intelligence and marketing solutions deliver maximum strategic value to clients; with particular emphasis on physician market analytics and business development. Prior to joining Evariant, Emilio was Senior Director, Performance Technologies at The Advisory Board Company, helping hospitals yield operational insight from internal systems and external data sets. He has also served as Leader of Customer Value and Insights at Healthways, a leading disease management and wellness firm; and Vice President, Strategic Communications for pharmacy benefits management company CaremarkRx, prior to its merger with CVS Pharmacy. Before entering the healthcare sector, Emilio held business development, investor relations and communications leadership roles for several public companies in a variety of industries.
Emilio Ruocco