Millennials Seeking Healthcare: Examining the Degree to Which Patients Utilize Online Resources
Keywords:Patient Engagement, Patient Satisfaction, Consumer Engagement, Internet use, Online social networking, physician patient relations, Practice Management, Healthcare quality access and evaluation
Introduction. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, a Silver Tsunami is looming, with more than 75.4 million persons aged 57 to 75 expected to need more costly medical care. However, a larger wave of 83.1 million Millennials nearing adulthood is approaching rapidly. Therefore, it is important to understand how this population finds their physician and what may influence this decision.
Methods. Paper-based surveys were administered to adult patients at primary care and geriatric clinics located at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Questions included demographic information, utilization and influence of online reviews, and the effects negative and positive reviews have on a patient’s choice of physician. Descriptive statistics were calculated for respondent characteristics and survey responses. Chi-square and McNemar’s tests were performed to evaluate differences between age and gender groups, and to determine how influential review ratings are in choosing a physician for medical care. Statistical significance was determined at the 0.05 level.
Results. A sample of 284 patients completed the survey (44.35 ± 17.54 years old [range = 18-90], 60.6% female, 57.4% white). Of Millennials, 67.2% read online reviews before choosing a physician. Millennials were significantly more likely to read online reviews before choosing a physician (p = 0.004) and utilize online resources to search for a new physician (p < 0.001) than older patients.
Conclusions. Millennials were more likely to research online reviews before choosing a physician. Therefore, an online review presence will be beneficial to one’s practice to acquire this new wave of patients.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Landon Arensberg, Jessica Kalender-Rich, M.D., MHA, Jaehoon Lee, Ph.D., Cheryl A. Gibson, Ph.D.
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