Modernizing the pediatric practice for millennial parents
Many pediatric practices are discovering that millennial parents (those born from the early 1980s to the late 1990s) have different expectations for their children’s health care than previous generations. Services, such as online scheduling and email appointment reminders that Gen X parents considered a pleasant convenience, have become an expectation for the generation that grew up with the internet.
Millennial parents expect to be able to communicate with their pediatric providers beyond normal office hours via email or instant messaging. They want the option to see their children’s doctor in the evenings or on weekends so they don’t have to miss work. And they expect the practice to have an online presence, mobile capabilities and flexible payment options.
Meeting parent expectations for convenience
Practices like Raleigh Pediatrics, for example, have used tools like Phreesia to help modernize their practices with electronic patient intake and other tech-enabled services that millennial parents have come to expect.
The clinic’s younger parents want modern features and expanded access, said Raleigh Pediatrics Site Supervisor, Sherry Barham. “They also expect shorter wait times and a faster in-and-out experience when they come to the clinic for care,” she added.
To help meet those expectations, Raleigh Pediatrics now encourages parents to complete their registration online before they come in for appointments. With the paperwork out of the way, they have fewer distractions during their visit and can focus more on their child and have a more meaningful interaction with their pediatrician.
“Now, when patients and their parents come into the office, if they’ve already pre-registered with Phreesia’s mobile, the process is so much faster,” Barham said. “Mobile allows parents to enter information from the comfort of their own home at a time that is convenient for them.
Patient engagement and flexible payment options
At ABC Pediatrics in Asheville, N.C., Shae Lynn Byas, RN, CNA, the practice’s quality improvement coordinator, has also noticed a shift in millennial parents’ expectations. “Our younger parents expect to get a text message reminder or an email appointment confirmation, while older generations often won’t even notice or use those features unless we walk them through it,” Byas said.
In 2015, ABC Pediatrics implemented Phreesia so that parents could complete the intake process electronically and streamline their visits. They also rely on the Allscripts FollowMyHealth® patient portal, which enables parents to message their pediatrician directly, schedule appointments, and view their child’s medical and immunization records.
Byas adds that millennial parents also expect flexible payment options, including the choice to make online or mobile payments, or set up a payment plan. With Phreesia, the clinic’s new payment process is more flexible, discreet and easier for parents to use, Byas said.
If a copay is missed, for example, the clinic can simply send out an email that enables the parent to pay online. Or, if a copay is mistakenly collected for what was actually a free well-child visit, the clinic can immediately refund the parent’s credit card instead of waiting for a check to be issued.
Both practices emphasize they have implemented these new technologies first and foremost to improve patient care. But they also underscore that tools like Phreesia and the FollowMyHealth patient portal offer the features and capabilities that today’s younger parents expect.
To learn more about patients’ changing expectations and how Phreesia can help you meet them, join us for the App of the Month webinar on Thursday, March 30, at 1 p.m. Eastern time.